By Kayleigh Jones
The first Wednesday of October marks the national Walk, Bike and Roll to School Day. This international event inspires both students and parents to spend a few minutes of their day exercising and connecting with their community. On October 4, Apollo Beach Elementary School had its own celebration shortly before school started, beginning at Bimmy Bay and walking, biking and rolling together to school.
The event gathered an incredible crowd, with 74 walkers and countless cyclists, including children, parents and other members of the community. Rose and Anne, their charming crossing guards, and delightful volunteer Jessica as Flippy the dolphin, the school’s mascot, led them on their route. Jo Dee Nicosia and her fellow PTA members worked tirelessly to organize this event not just to create healthy habits but also to alleviate traffic congestion.
“Here in our south county area, we’ve seen a lot of congestion, and traffic congestion has been on the minds of all of us who have seen our little town explode,” said Nicosia.
Apollo Beach Elementary stands out from the other schools participating in this event because it was orchestrated by the community and garnered organic attention from the community. Nicosia was delighted to introduce this event, as it is a terrific opportunity to encourage children to get outside, especially since she and members of her neighborhood walk to school every day, referring to themselves as a walking school bus.
It was exciting for Nicosia to see her own daughter participate, noting that Apollo Beach Elementary is a recipient of the National School of Character Award. Schools of Character foster in their students a commitment to be honest and to volunteer their time and talents to the common good.
Through this event, the school was able to also emphasize the efforts of the crossing guards.
“Being greeted every day with a smile from our crossing guards really does just build that larger sense of community,” said Nicosia.
Rose and Anne play an important role in their community as crossing guards by ensuring the general safety of the children as well as teaching children how to be safe and make wise decisions when traveling to school.
For more information concerning this event, please contact Nicosia at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the international event’s website at www.walkbiketoschool.org. Apollo Beach Elementary is located at 501 Apollo Beach Blvd. in Apollo Beach.