Many of our impressions of the success of Yantacaw Walks so far come from observations and anecdotes, such as:
- The roads leading to Yantacaw School that used to be choked with cars during peak dropoff times are now clear.
- There are now waves of children with parents and groups of friends walking to and from school every day. Our crossing guards are enjoying many more customers.
- Our calls for creativity have been met with terrific contributions, and parents and children have devised their own creative projects to express their support and enthusiasm for walking to school.
- We’ve had some very nice press coverage:
Nutley Journal: Yantacaw Walks in Nutley
NorthJersey.com: With Temperatures Rising, It’s the Perfect Time to Walk
NorthJersey.com: Nutley Pilot Program
NorthJersey.com: Less Exercise
Yantacaw Walks also has some quantitative data in hand, and more that we’re gathering:
- More than half of our 450 students have pledged to walk to and/or from school up to five days/week.
- Through our Classroom Challenge, every class logs its walks to/from school on a daily basis. The average number of walks/week (max 10) among the leading classes for Week 6 of the contest: Grade K: 7.53 | Grade 1: 5.63 | Grade 2: 5.83 | Grade 3: 6.55 | Grade 4: 8.00 | Grade 5: 7.05 | Grade 6: 7.50
Our online parent survey (just launching) will gather data about the number of walks before and since Yantacaw Walks began and also give us insight on reasons some don’t walk to school.
While we’re proud of our successes, we recognize that the true challenge lies ahead in sustaining the commitment to walking that this pilot project has begun.
To follow our progress, visit Yantacaw Walks on Facebook.