As I drove past my local school recently I noticed that it was ‘Walk to school week’, this catapulted me into a thorny forest of guilt.  Firstly due to the fact that if I used the local school I could walk there in about 5 minutes, and B about the many miles I clock up driving my children to school / preschool every day.

I’ve never actually calculated my weekly mileage, I fool myself that my ridiculous fuel consumption is down to someone stealing into our drive on a nightly basis and siphoning the diesel out. I’m going to do it today, safe in the knowledge that you’re there to pick me up when I keel over….

Daily Routine:-

8.30 Frogmarch kidlings to car, strap them down, throw in random bags and shout until we’re ready to go – Drive to School

Distance: 6.3m

8.50 Slow down to enable 8yo to execute Starsky & Hutch style dismount.  Park and accompany 5yo to class, just in time to catch the end of wake&shake

9.00 Drive 3yo to Pre School, brace self for inevitable Klingon attack

Distance: 3.1m

9.20 Dust self down and drive to home office, feeling guilty and ruined

Distance: 3.4m

11.30 Hastily finish tea/email/conference call/twittercon and race to pre school in time for pickup

Distance: 6.8m (round trip)

12.45 (Monday – Thursday) Struggle to get 3yo into afternoon uniform, persuade her that she really does want to go to ‘big school’

Distance: 12.6m (round trip)

15.00 (ish) Scream at the clock “That can’t be the time ALREADY?!” Dash out the door to scoop up all three in one hit…

Distance: 12.6m (round trip)

This doesn’t include the days that we detour for swimming lessons, shopping, visits to friends etc, but we’ll keep it simple for now…

Total school related weekly mileage: 211.4

Which means that in a month I do nearly a thousand miles just ferrying my kids to and fro school! That’s really quite shocking, although it does go some way to explaining why my car is the state it is – we practically live in there.  But d’you know what?  It’s worth it – my kids’ school really is outstanding.  The small issues that I’ve had have always been dealt with swiftly and compassionately, I trust them to care for my kids and give them the best education that money can’t buy, and in September when my youngest starts there full-time I will literally be placing all my eggs in one basket.

With that in mind I’d like to tell you about a scheme that I learned about recently. I know that we’re lucky.  We can choose from a number of really good schools in our area and with the right support from us at home our kids will definitely benefit from this start.  Not everyone has the same choices, not every child gets the same support.

Last year saw the launch of a global initiative called Street to School, designed to help underprivileged children gain access to education.  The scheme is underpinned by Aviva (previously Norwich Union) as part of its corporate responsibility programme. It began in India thanks to a collaboration between CRY and Save the Children and is being rolled out internationally.

The programme’s UK partner is Railway Children . If you’re not already familiar with this charity please take a minute to click the link, some of it makes for harrowing reading but it highlights just how important their work is.

How can you help?

You didn’t think you’d get off lightly did you?! You don’t have to give money, all you have to do is click a link and nominate someone – and we’ve all got very good at that lately!

Tell Us Your Story is giving people the opportunity to recognise and reward others who have made a positive impact on their lives or in their community over the past year. Here’s the link.

For every entry Aviva will donate £1 to the Street to School Programme.  A weekly prize of £1000 will also be awarded to the local hero that captures the hearts of visitors to the site and receives the most votes.  One overall winner will be chosen by a celebrity judging panel for a prize worth £10,000.

So it’s easy, and it will take you no more than a few minutes to make a significant different to someone else’s life.

What are you waiting for?!

Street to School…
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17 thoughts on “Street to School…

  • June 16, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    This is an issue I often think about and then try not to as I look at our increasing transport costs at MD Manor. My concerns are made worse by fact we own to enormous gas guzzlers and choose for middle child to be schooled in town, far away from the local village school. There are many valid reasons why we made this choice, but it still makes me feel bad when I watch the local mums tottering off to collect their little ones on foot each day. Like all aspects of parenthood its a minefield and what works for one doesn’t work for the other. Will click on link now and go read as instructed.

    MD xx

    PS Imagine if we were those “Walking Mums” – we’d have arses and thighs like Supermodels!!

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  • June 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Well here I was all ready leave a sarky comment and you stopped me in my tracks. I’ll do what I’m told instead…

  • June 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Cars, parking, fuel gases, accidents – it has always been a problem for parents, schools & the local communities near by. I wish I could have persuaded some of my parents to walk instead of driving the 0.2 mile it took! Good exercise to do. You could mention it to the school. They may like to do it as a whole school ‘questionnaire’ as part of W2S week & then send it out as data etc! Get you lots of brownie points!

  • June 16, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    My first 3 went to a village school I drove to (the story of how this came about is long and frankly boring so I won’t go into it!) When BB starts in Sept I will be walking him to our local school and I am SO CHUFFED. The older ones now all walk to middle school and college and the car rarely leaves the drive (no excuse for the mess then really)…will click on link and have a good old read! Great Post Missus!

  • June 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I cannot understand, despite living in a town with 3 primary schools, everyone seems to want to attend the one at the opposite side to where they live. Which would be fine if they walked there. They say, ‘we can’t let the children walk because of the traffic’! They ARE the traffic. The children don’t know how to cross roads or have any road sense because they are driven everywhere. Although I live near the school you talk about, I didn’t send mine there. Partly because it wasn’t build when the first two went to school and we had to walk almost a mile to the nearest one. With the second two I wanted them to go to the same school their older brothers had been to, the teachers knew them and our family. The new school was open-plan and had been built with no kitchen and children had to eat their packed lunches at their desks. ( Bucks being one of the first counties to do away with school dinners and kitchens, in favour of libraries – how that has come back to bite us on the bum!)

    So we walked and talked, I had no car anyway, and when they were old enough they walked by themselves. I would go on, but I can feel myself turning into a grumpy old woman so I’ll stop now! You’ve certainly stirred things up! 🙂

  • June 16, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    You see how we suffer for our children?! We are really lucky to have so much choice these days – it certainly never used to be the case – and I fully support our right to exercise it. Thanks for reading and clicking lovely xx

  • June 16, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Ha!! I’m clever like that… xx

  • June 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    They have done it before, and they do operate their own W2S week – it’s just not an option for us though. In good weather I park a short distance away so at least they get to have a little walk and some fresh air before and after school, that goes some way to assuaging my guilt!


  • June 16, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    I hate that there is no way to walk into my nearest town from where I live – the road down the hill has had 2 horses killed this last year which means there is no way I’ll risk me and my buggy (and the field route has stiles which I’m not yet competent to get both over)

    If only we could get rid of the rat run idiots (um yes sweetie the breaks and horn are interchangeable…) it might work

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  • June 17, 2010 at 5:03 am

    Walking is seriously over rated anyway, lays hell with your shoes 😉

    Going over to have a look now…

  • June 17, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Thanks lovely, I be very envious come September at the thought of you strolling along. I’d like to be able to but it’s not worth the compromise it would mean to them.


  • June 17, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Sounds like you made the most of that time 🙂

    We’re lucky, the school does have a kitchen and fab school dinners, although mine don’t have them! Walking from home isn’t an option for us, but we do park far enough away to stroll in and out when the weather and time permits.

    The way I see it is that we’re fortunate to have such a choice. Many don’t, which is why I’ve chosen to support the Street to School initiative. Px

  • June 17, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Oh I hear you! There’s a private school a couple of miles from our house and many people use our village as a rat run. We live around a blind bend and they fly round it! Which reminds me – I keep saying I’m going to pop up to Cox & Robinson to buy a ‘SLOW DOWN’ sign…must do that!! x

  • June 17, 2010 at 7:46 am

    LOL, thanks H! So true….although MD is right – we’d have thighs like supermodels if we did more of it! xx

  • July 7, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    We also live on a rat run. It’s sleepy quiet village, but is a cut through to the Big Town in the morning. There’s no way I’ll be walking to school, which is a pity since surely that’s one of the huge benefits of educating locally? There is a way across the fields but it’s very long. Not sure I’ll be up for that with a 3 year old klingon as I know I’ll end up carrying him plus bags etc.

    Such a shame 🙁

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