MONTREAL, Oct. 26, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Cancer Society – Quebec Division's Trottibus Walking School Bus, winner of The Play Exchange's grand prize, is expanding. From now on, it will be offered across Quebec and in other areas of the country.
Developed by the CCS and gradually implemented across Quebec over the past five years, the Trottibus Walking School Bus is a pedestrian bus that enables elementary school children to walk to school in safety under adult supervision. Several studies show that youths are increasingly sedentary. This phenomenon causes serious problems related to excess weight and obesity across the country (nearly a third of Canadian youths are overweight or obese) as well as an increased risk of getting cancer later in life. For the CCS, the Trottibus Walking School Bus is an excellent way to get children moving and instil the habit of using active transportation right from childhood.
The Play Exchange, instituted in 2014 by the Public Health Agency of Canada and supported by various partners, had the goal of finding an innovative project that would bring people together to promote a healthy and active lifestyle. The Trottibus Walking School Bus was declared the winner of the grand prize in the competition held in January by online public voting. It was the only Quebec project selected among six Play Exchange finalists and some 400 projects submitted from coast to coast. The $1 million investment fund received from the Canadian government will enable the CCS to expand the Trottibus Walking School Bus across Quebec and the rest of Canada over the next few years. Currently, 61 Quebec schools participate in the Trottibus Walking School Bus and pilot projects supervised by the CCS will take place during the school year in Ontario and Nova Scotia.
Chantal Petitclerc, 14-time Paralympic gold medalist and Trottibus Walking School Bus ambassador for The Play Exchange, states that "the Trottibus Walking School Bus is a fantastic program because it integrates the idea of exercising every day into children's lives in a way that's simple and fun. Being the mother of a little boy, I'm glad to know that he and his friends will have the opportunity to take part in the Trottibus Walking School Bus when they're ready for school. It's well known that a child who exercises has strong chances of becoming an active adult. Thanks to The Play Exchange, the CCS can hope to prevent more cancers, the leading cause of death in the country."
"The CCS would like to thank the organizers of The Play Exchange and highlight the staunch support of Trottibus Walking School Bus partners. Without them, the Trottibus Walking School Bus would not exist and wouldn't be preparing to expand across the country," says Jacinthe Hovington, Director of Cancer Prevention and Community Services at the CCS, Quebec Division. "In Canada, only one in four children uses active transportation to go to school. The Trottibus Walking School Bus is a way to encourage communities to get moving — hardly 4% of children in the country get enough physical exercise every day. We're proud to be able to improve the health of children and help more Canadians adopt a healthy lifestyle."
Trottibus Walking School Bus benefits
For the child
- Chance to make friends
- Fun and sense of belonging to a group
- Opportunity to become a good pedestrian
- Better concentration in class
- Increase in the level of physical activity
- Reduction of cancer risk
- Less traffic around the school
- Increased safety for pedestrians
- Parents mobilized by a project that brings them together
- Surroundings promote physical activity
For the parent
- Sharing the responsibility of taking their child to school with other parents
- Spending quality time with their child
- An easier morning routine a few times a week
- Fewer cars: families walk more to get around
- Greener neighbourhood
- Involvement of citizens in an intergenerational project
To set up a Trottibus Walking School Bus in a school, please visit the Trottibus Walking School Bus website.
About the Canadian Cancer Society
With the support of 300,000 annual donors and 30,000 volunteers, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the Quebec charity with the potential to save the most lives. Each year, some 135,000 Quebecers turn to it. So, the CCS does everything it can to increase the overall cancer survival rate, currently at 63%, to 80% by 2030.
The money raised by the CCS helps:
- prevent more cancers and advocate for public health
- fund more research projects
- support more people living with cancer
Let's save more lives. Please visit cancer.ca or call us at 1 888 939-3333.
SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society, Quebec Division
Image with caption: "The Trottibus Walking School Bus, winner of The Play Exchange grand prize, encourages the use of active transportation for elementary schoolchildren. It will be expanded in Quebec and the rest of the country. To highlight this news, students and the principal of the Saint-Germain d'Outremont school, Trottibus Walking School Bus volunteers and representatives of the Canadian Cancer Society pose with the Trottibus Walking School Bus ambassador, Chantal Petitclerc. (CNW Group/Canadian Cancer Society, Quebec Division)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151026_C6308_PHOTO_EN_528653.jpg
For further information: André Beaulieu, Spokesperson and Senior Advisor, Communication, Canadian Cancer Society - Quebec Divisionabeaulieu@quebec.cancer.ca 514 393-3444