Dorchester Dist. 2 students line up for International Walk to School Day

Around 300 elementary school families in Dorchester County participated in International Walk to School Day.
Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 9:13 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2023 at 12:27 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Cue the marching band, cheerleaders and mascots. Dorchester District Two students are celebrating International Walk to School Day in style. It’s not just the band doing the marching but around 300 elementary school families as well.

“Our school is always go big or go home,” Priscilla Johnson, principal at Joseph Pye Elementary School, said. “Our students are with us for maybe 4 to 6 years and while they’re here we want them to know that they’re loved, they’re valued, and we go all out for them because they deserve it. We want to make an impact on them. We’re excited that they’re excited today.”

The walk started in a neighborhood about a mile away from the school at 6:30 in the morning. They made it to the school about 15 minutes later.

Johnson says the walk is designed to embrace the school’s role as a neighborhood school and encourage families to get their students walking. However, walking to school can be dangerous with many areas in the county lacking adequate sidewalks, crosswalks and crossing guards. Johnson says the district is working hard to make sure kids can get to school safely.

“The street that we are on is a highly populated area. We have crossing guards at both of our intersections as well as police officers from the North Charleston Police Department who are operating the traffic lights to ensure there is enough opportunity for our kids who are walking to school,” Johnson said. “We are a highly populated areas of walkers and so it is very important for us to ensure they get to school safely, both in the front and back of the school. Our parents don’t have anything to worry about because they are well taken care of between our crossing guards and our police department.”

The walk is also helping the district with a grant for the school.

“We partner with MUSC and Boeing for their health and wellness grant initiative and part of that is earning points throughout the year,” Johnson said. “So, this is one of those activities that gives kids a really fun opportunity to walk to school with their families, but it also helps us earn points for receiving a grant for health and wellness initiative.”

The elementary school earned the Wellness Award grand prize last year worth $1,750.00.