TORONTO, June 8, 2011 /CNW/ - Today, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of
Ontario and Green Communities Canada, celebrate the success of school
champions from 10 regional elementary schools for their participation
in the iCANwalk to school… can you? campaign with students, parents, staff and community members at Wismer
and Donald Cousens Public Schools in Markham, Ontario. Also joining us
will be Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti.
Students at 10 schools across Ontario will be receiving awards for their
outstanding efforts. More than 100 Ontario schools registered their pledges to increase
walking - to school and in school - and log their progress. The
students logged in a total of 63,000 kilometers walked over the course
of this school year, avoiding 5,505 vehicle trips to school. That's the
equivalent of walking across Canada nine times! During the campaign,
schools were asked to make a pledge to increase walking - to school and
in school - and to register online to log their progress throughout the
"Walking to school is an important and easy way for Ontario's children
and young people to be active. With partners like the Heart and Stroke
Foundation of Ontario and Green Communities Canada, The McGuinty
government is committed to getting as many students walking to school
as possible and together, building a stronger and healthier province,"
says Margarett Best, Minister of Health Promotion and Sport.
"Whether it's walking, pedalling a bike, skateboarding or jumping rope,
increasing physical activity is a powerful means of putting kids on the
fast track to a heart-healthy lifestyle. We believe investments in
programs like iCANwalk to school…can you? will help us make Ontario the healthiest province in Canada," says
Sharon Brodovsky of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
Students agree. "I think walking to school Wednesdays has helped me get
more exercise throughout the day! It is so much fun walking with
friends and talking," says Vishva, a grade 6 student at Wismer Public
School in Markham, Ont. "It feels like a lot more people are walking
and we are all together!"
The award ceremony took place on Clean Air Day. "Today provides the
perfect opportunity to wrap-up and celebrate the achievements of
Ontario schools who have held year-long campaigns to encourage families
to walk to school," says Jacky Kennedy, Green Communities Canada.
"Walking regularly with school chums is a great way to keep fit, get to
know your neighbourhood and help reduce pollution."
Wismer Public School and Donald Cousens Public School are two of 24
schools who have participated in iCANwalk to school…can you? across York Region. Partners include the Town of Markham, The Regional
Municipality of York and York Regional Police who have worked
collaboratively to create comprehensive travel plans for both of these
schools. This work ties directly to the Town of
Markham's sustainability plan and the Markham Transportation Strategic
Plan, currently in progress, as well as York Region's Healthy Schools
program and the upcoming "Going to school - go active!" public
For more information about active school travel initiatives visit: www.saferoutestoschool.ca
To learn more about the Heart and Stroke Foundation's healthy kids'
initiatives, visit www.heartandstroke.ca/spark.
Project partners for iCANwalk to school…can you? are Green Communities Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario,
The Regional Municipality of York, Town of Markham, York Region
District School Board, and York Catholic District School Board.
Green Communities Canada is a national association of non-profit organizations that deliver
innovative, practical environmental solutions to Canadian households
and communities. For more information, visit www.saferoutestoschool.ca/schooltravel.asp.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease
and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of
research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and
SOURCE Green Communities Canada
For further information:
Green Communities Canada
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario
Teresa Roncon, External Media Relations
Tel: 416-489-7111, ext. 482