Recreation PEI wants to make school transportation more active

Two schools in Charlottetown are working to get their students more active.

Organization is running a study with 2 Charlottetown schools

The project is trying to get more kids to walk to school. ((Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images))

Two schools in Charlottetown are working to get their students more active. Prince Street Elementary and Sherwood Elementary are participating in a national initiative called the Active and Safe Routes to School project.

Recreation PEI is heading up the project for the Island and picked the two schools based on the location.

"Both of the schools are in areas in town where a lot of kids already do walk, so we thought it was good to partner with ones where the majority of kids aren't bussed in, they are in that walking vicinity," said project coordinator for Recreation PEI, Jamie Gosbee. 

Surveys have gone out to parents and guardians, asking questions about the family's walking habits to school. The idea is to find the barriers families experience in getting their kids walking. 

Recreation PEI chose Sherwood Elementary and Prince Street School because of location and ease of walking for most students. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

"That data will give us reasons they wouldn't be letting their kids walk to school," Gosbee said. 

"Whether it's distance, perceived safety cautions, things like that and then we can build a plan to get either less traffic or increased visibility of crosswalks or things like that."

Gosbee said even adding a bit of exercise can be beneficial for sleep and overall health, but it might also help with marks. 

Jamie Gosbee, program coordinator for Recreation PEI, says they hope to find why some kids might not walk to school even though they are close enough. (Submitted by Jamie Gosbee)

"If you walk to school five or 10 minutes, you get your exercise in, studies show that kids are more productive in school." 

The survey is due on the Dec. 20. Over the next month Gosbee will meet with the schools and subcommittees which will include the home and school associations and the sustainability officer for the City of Charlottetown. 

Those groups will go over the data and find ways to fix the problems identified.

The funding was a one-time offer for Recreation PEI, and only allowed them to reach two schools, but Gosbee said they are always open to possible expansion of programs like this.

About the Author

Natalia Goodwin

Video Journalist

Natalia is a video journalist in P.E.I. She has also worked for CBC N.L.