Keeners in the front and cool kids in the back – some things never change.
London Mayor Joe Fontana took a backseat to Matt Reid, the newest Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) trustee on International Walk to School Day, Wednesday (Oct. 9).
Fontana and Reid joined one of three walking school buses that assemble to ferry students throughout the Old East Village to Lorne Avenue Public School every Wednesday morning.
Students, parents and community volunteers met at Boyle, Mykonos Restaurant (Adelaide at Elias St), and Tony’s Pizza (Dundas at Quebec) and set off for school, picking up more walkers along the winding routes and converging on the school shortly before 9 a.m.
Reid and Fontana tried out the mock school bus that two lucky students get to “drive” on each Wednesday walk.
Fontana wanted the front seat, but was at peace with his place once he was reminded that the cool kids always sit in the back.
“Yeah, the keeners sit in the front,” Reid quipped.
“I’m happy to support the volunteers who make sure our kids get to school safely and on time,” he said, walking in lockstep with the mayor. “It’s a great community effort.”
Fontana said the walk is a good example of trends in urban design the Forest City should emulate, specifically, a focus on walkability.
“This walk is exactly what the city needs,” Fontana said. “We want a walkable city, we want walkable neighbourhoods, we want to promote active living and we want parents to feel their children are safe on their walk to school.”
International Walk to School Day was created in 2000 by agencies promoting Walk to School programs in Canada, Great Britain and the United States.
The day is now recognized in 40 countries around the world and promotes safe routes for walking and bicycling, increasing physical activity among children and concern for the environment.
The Lorne Ave. Walking School Bus is part of the London Block Parents Program’s BlockWalk Program and is supported by the London InterCommunity Health Centre.