Westside Elementary School in Daytona Beach, Florida hosted an event on October 22, 2010 to encourage more children to safely walk and bicycle to and from school as part of the Safe Routes to School Program and the Walking School Bus grant.  The event was organized by the Safe Routes to School Florida Network, a privately funded network advancing the federally funded Safe Routes to School Program in the United States.

Congressman John Mica was the keynote speaker at the event which included local community leaders such as Volusia County Council Chairman Frank Bruno, Mr. George Lovett, Director of Transportation Development with the Florida Department of Transportation (District 5), Dr. Bonita Sorensen, Director of the Volusia County Health Department and Dr. Al Williams, Volusia County School Board member.

Congressman Mica stated: “The Safe Routes to School Program is a great initiative that encourages kids to walk or bike to school.  It is a win-win, benefitting the security of our students and making our roadways and bike paths safer for everyone.”

The event began with a video presentation from a Walk to School Event held at Westside on International Walk to School Day (October 6, 2010).  Following the video presentation and remarks by the community leaders, Congressman Mica presented a certificate and flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capitol Building to Westside Principal Judy Winch.  Chairman Frank Bruno presented Principal Winch with a Proclamation from the Volusia County Council for Safe Routes to School Day on October 22, 2010.

After the ceremony, Congressman Mica joined Principal Winch, Chairman Bruno and others to walk a group of students a few blocks from the school and towards home.  Over 200 children participated in the walk from school.  Principal Winch, who walks a student home every Friday as part of her “Walk to Read with the Principal” program, walked one of her students the entire way home.  The entire event was a resounding success.