Mt. Vernon Celebrates National Walking Day with Walking School Bus Event

Wednesday April 3, 2024

In a world dominated by vehicular transportation and hurried schedules, a walk to school may seem like a throwback to simpler times. Yet, for communities looking to promote health, safety, and a sense of camaraderie among children, it’s a modern solution with timeless benefits.

The concept was on full display today in east Bakersfield where the streets around Mt. Vernon Elementary School were abuzz with excitement as families, teachers, and community volunteers came together to organize a walking school bus event. The event coincided with National Walking Day, which falls on the the first Wednesday in April to raise awareness about the importance of moving your body.

“We want students to bring active transportation to our schools,” said Jonathan Gallardo with Bakersfield Blue Zones Project, a non-profit that promotes health and wellness initiatives. “We want students to walk. We want students to run. We want students to bike. We want students to be active in the morning and the walking school bus is giving them that exact opportunity.”

There were ten separate routes where students were picked up on as they walked to school. Cheerleaders and a flag team came out to cheer on students as they walked through the school gates. About 20 volunteers came to help including representatives from Kern County Public Works and California Highway Patrol.

In addition to its health benefits, walking school bus events serve to impart on students and families the importance of attending school every day.

“By bringing our staff, families and the community together, we can collaboratively support and encourage our students to come to school safely and on time,” said Gloria De Hoyos Tapia, vice principal of Mt. Vernon Elementary School.

Photo Gallery

Photos Courtesy of Anahi Sagastume

By Robert Meszaros

By Robert Meszaros

Rob Meszaros is Director of Communications for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, where he has served since 2012. In his role, Meszaros oversees media relations, internal and external communication strategies, publications, Marcom, branding, and multi-media content creation. Before joining KCSOS, Meszaros was the PIO for CSU Bakersfield and earlier worked for seven years at The Bakersfield Californian.