Watch out for more students during your morning commute today.
Students across the QCA are hitting the sidewalks for International Walk to School Day.
40 years ago, almost one out of every two students walked to school. Today, the number is just more than one out of every ten.
School leaders agree that needs to change.
"It's really meant to encourage kids to walk and bike safely to school," says Holly Sparkman, Rock Island/Milan School District. "Promote safe practices and also have them get a little exercise in the process."
Parents and teachers will show students how to use crosswalks effectively and the rules of traffic signals. State senators, mayors and other local and state leaders will be on hand today helping students make the walk.
Folks in the Rock Island School District thought they'd have new sidewalks to use for today's walk, but that's not the case.
Back in January, the district received a $377,000 grant through the federal "Safe Routes to School" initiative. But delay after delay, residents are still waiting more than eight months later to see a penny of that grant get spent.
The money was initially intended to go toward repaving sidewalks and installing traffic lights and signs.
School leaders tell us the exhausting financial process will now only include installing bike lanes near the schools for children.
"The entire grant process for that particular year went very slowly," Sparkman adds. "We were hoping to have it done by this year and it didn't happen, so [hopefully] next year."
School leaders say they still plan to tackle adding more sidewalks in the near future.
By Natalie Zarowny firstname.lastname@example.org It was a very special dedication to a legendary Moline congressman. Sunday night Genesis Health System officials celebrated the grand opening of their new Healthplex. ItMore >>
It was a very special dedication to a legendary Moline congressman.More >>
By Natalie Zarowny email@example.com It was a lot of fun for a good cause Sunday at Martinis on the Rock in Rock Island as people gathered for a Toys for Tots benefit. Live music, food, and lotsMore >>
It was a lot of fun for a good cause SundayMore >>