TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Students at Roosevelt Elementary in Tampa got a nice surprise from the Tampa Bay Lightning Thunderbug on Wednesday.
The visit was to honor the students for participating in their “Walk to School Wednesdays” program.
The program got started by Sidewalk Stompers in 2016. The goal was to promote a healthy, pedestrian friendly community for student walkers in Tampa. A few students started participating in Walk to School Wednesdays, but the initiative really took off this year.
“We started with our first event. We counted with only about 80 walkers, which is great, but we knew we could do better and so today, we actually had our highest walking total ever and today we had 205 walkers. So, we more than doubled the numbers of walkers just at Roosevelt,” said Sidewalk Stompers co-founder Tim Scheu.
The program teaches students how to cross the street safely and aims to make drivers more aware of what’s going on around them.
“Our kids were just unsure about how to cross the road and we were thinking there is some way to build visibility for the need to improve walking infrastructure in South Tampa,” said Scheu.
Students are learning road laws, earning prizes and learning how to be as healthy as possible from a very young age.
“We have a national epidemic when it comes to diabetes, so we’re trying to get more kids and families embracing healthy habits from the start,” said Scheu.
Right now, Roosevelt Elementary is the only school that participates, but leaders with Sidewalk Stompers expect the program to grow more next year.
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