Stepping Forward on International Walk to School Day
While New Year’s signals fresh resolutions for the majority of us, for kids (and their parents), fall and the beginning of a new school year is the time to commit to starting off the year right. Diligence in studying or completing homework is a common goal, but also other activities such as learning a new musical instrument or playing a team sport become greater priorities. In fact, walking to school is a great activity for kids, because, not only does it encourage healthy habits, it also contributes to fewer cars on the road, reducing the amount of vehicle emissions and increasing safety in school zones.
As a parent, I know that keeping our kids healthy and safe is critical and helping them walk safely to school is something the entire community can rally behind. As a company with more than 90,000 vehicles on the road daily, FedEx understands that safety is always the first and most important priority. That’s why FedEx is working with Safe Kids this week to engage communities on International Walk to School Day. On Wednesday, October 3rd, hundreds of FedEx team members from around the world joined local Safe Kids coalitions in going to their neighborhood schools to teach thousands of children, teachers, parents and caregivers about the proper behavior for walking to school. Here in Memphis, I had the pleasure of going to Dunbar Elementary, where we were greeted by hundreds of smiling (and very enthusiastic!) students, all eager to participate in our interactive lessons on safe walking and receive goody bags with safe gear that let kids “stand out” in a cool, and safe, way.
Back in August, FedEx and Safe Kids released a report that found a significant decrease in the amount of younger children injured and killed in the U.S. as a result of being hit by a car. That’s positive news and is one trend that we want to continue to see in the U.S. and abroad. By committing our corporate dollars, expertise, and team member time to support organizations like Safe Kids Worldwide, FedEx is helping to make our communities safer, healthier places to live and work.
International Walk to School Day is an important activity that reinforces these safety messages to children and their parents and ensures each new generation of children in our community is safe and healthy.
As a Board Member for Safe Kids, I am proud of progress we’ve made together since launching the Walk This Way program in 2000. We continue our work in creating safer, more walkable communities through education, awareness, research and actual physical improvements to the spaces where child pedestrians are most at-risk. However, as the SVP of U.S. Operations for FedEx Express, overseeing more than 53,000 team members, safety remains our first consideration for FedEx operations. Managing a global network of people, facilities and trucks, including all of couriers delivering to our customers each business day, demands that safety and health principles are strategically incorporated into all aspects of our business.
Through our work with Safe Kids, we continue to drive our commitment to advancing safe driving practices and improving safety conditions in the communities in which our team members live and work.
If you have children, I hope you’ll join this movement and research safe walking tips to share with your children. And for all members in our community, I would encourage us to commit to helping to protect everyone in our community by driving safely. That’s one resolution we don’t have to wait until January 1st to start!