Public Health promotes pedestrian safety at Westport school

WESTPORT At the first assembly of the school year, students at Westport Central School were encouraged to step back and think about pedestrian safety. Essex County Public Health (ECPH) Educator Cathy McMahon visited the elementary classes. Dressed as Cosmic Cathy, she promoted pedestrian awareness for students. Its a reminder they need to pay attention they need to use their eyes, their ears and their brains when theyre out walking, said McMahon. International Walk to School Day, which took place on Oct. 3, was sponsored by Adirondack Safe Kids and ECPH. The safety programming was aimed at reducing pedestrian related death and injury. McMahon said that in the North Country, it wasnt always practical for students to walk to school because of the distances involved, but pedestrian safety was important for times when students are in the community, or even in the school parking lot. The course included a brief review of the proper way to disembark from the bus. Members of the sixth grade class performed a walking safety rap. Students also entered a coloring contest to design a safety bumper sticker. Younger students went outside to practice crossing the street in a mock-up that utilized teachers as cars. Students were provided with T-shirts and goody bags which contained reflective zipper pulls to help increase visibility for walkers. Sixth grader Rob King thought the program was a good refresher. He said sometimes drivers didnt pay enough attention, and said youth needed to know what to do.

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