Holt Journal Staff Writer
Horizon Elementary School has been awarded a mini-grant by the National Center for Safe Routes to School.
Horizon competed against 300 other schools for this mini-grant. They were one of 25 winners and the only school awarded in Michigan. The $1,000 grant will be used to pay for bike locks, and making signs for their “walking school bus” program, David Hornak, the elementary school’s principal said.
Pam Barth, the project director of the National Center for Safe Route to School said their well organized project and hard work done prior to winning the award, stood out against competitors.
The “walking school bus” program has been going on for two years. It has satellites at 6 designated areas, where parents drop their children off, and continues the route to school on bike or foot. These children are accompanied by parent volunteers.
Hornak said that 8 percent of the students at Horizon Elementary walk or bike to school, and they are trying to expand that number.
A student at Central Michigan University did an experiment on the positive correlation of walking to school in the morning. Barth said that walking to school benefits the health of the child, the environment and builds personal responsibility within him. The project is an overall success.
Other projects Horizon Elementary School has are the “mileage club” and the “breakfast club”, Hornak explained. The “mileage club” has the students exercise on the school’s track in the spring. Hornak is working to expand this project to other seasons. The students that are a part of the “breakfast club” go to school 20 minutes early, and walk or job on the track. The school gives out small prices to the students to keep them motivated.