Active Routes to School Go Back

What Is It?

Active Routes to Schools (ARTS) was identified by the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Action Team as an action, that when combined with other actions in our community, that has a reasonable chance of making a difference in physical activity and weight status in our community. The Community Guide for Preventative Services lists programs (like ARTS) that address street-scale improvements such as sidewalks, safer street crossings, multi-use pathways, and creating and enhancing access to places for physical activity as recommended strategies to increase physical activity rates. This is an ongoing program in our community.

The audience for ARTS are primarily students, K-8, however school staff and parents will also be affected by the strategy as the ideals trickle into the classroom and the homes. This strategy aims to make a difference on the individual level through increasing individuals' knowledge and influencing attitudes towards physical activity and the organizational level by facilitating behavioral change by influencing organizational systems and health policies. Implementation will take place at the local schools and throughout the community.

ARTS addresses health disparities and health equity by increasing access for physical activity for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status. Additionally, the strategy works to disband the perceived notion that walking to school is associated with poverty.

Active Routes to School successes across North Carolina


The partners for this strategy include:


2017 Updates

Bike to School Day: The Active Routes to School Program led a Bike to School Event at Cullowhee Valley School on May 10th, 2017.  Students were dropped off at the Cullowhee Recreation Center, had their current helmet properly fitted or were given a new, properly fitting helmet to keep, and biked the trail around the Recreation Center and over to Cullowhee Valley School. 83 students biked to school, and with volunteers included there was a total of 101 participants. Students received bags with bike lights and fun, educational materials.

Walk to School Day: Active Routes to School Program partnered with numerous community agencies to plan and implement the Walk to School Day event at Fairview Elementary School on October 4th, 2017.  The event began before school, and students were dropped off at the baseball fields below the school.  With the help of volunteers, students walked the WildWatch trail up to the cafeteria, where they were given free goodie bags provided by ARTS, Safe Kids, and FedEx, which included safety and educational materials.  This was the biggest Walk to School Day event in Region 1, with 263 students participating, 137 community volunteers, and 19 parents, for a total of 419 participants. 

Sustainable Programs: The following schools have implemented sustainable walking programs:

  • Quarterly Walking Program 
    • Scotts Creek Elementary School
  • Walking Program 1 Day/Week
    • Blue Ridge School
    • Cullowhee Valley School
    • Heritage Christian Academy
    • Jackson County School of Alternatives
  • Walking Program 2 Days/Week
    • Smokey Mountain Elementary School
  • Daily Walking Program
    • Fairview Elementary School, Victory Christian School 

Walk to School Day 2017

2016 Updates

Bike to School Day: The Active Route to School Program, with help from the Action Team, led a Bike to School Event at Cullowhee Valley School on May 4, 2016. Before school, parent dropped their children off at the Cullowhee Recreation Center. Children were fitted for a helmet and then rode their own or borrowed a bike to ride on the trail that leads from the Recreation Center to Cullowhee Valley School. A total of 150 participants were involved in the event.

Walk to School Day: The Active Routes to School Program, with help form the Action Team, led a Walk to School Day Event at Fairview Elementary School on October 5, 2016. Students walked from the baseball fields, through the nature area and up to the school cafeteria. A total of 279 students and 150 adults participated in the event.

Sustainable Walking Programs: As a result of participating in the Active Routes to School Program, all Kindergarten-8th grade Jackson County Public Schools have implemented a sustainable walking program.

Bike to School Day at Cullowhee Valley School

Our Work Helps Turn These Indicators
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