Debra the Zebra highlights benefits of walking to school

To mark Walk to School Week (19-23 May), 47 Merton schools have signed up to highlight to pupils the benefits of walking. Every child taking part in the council’s walk to school campaign will receive a flashing pen featuring Merton’s ‘Walk To School & Road Safety’ champion, Debra the Zebra. They will also be able to enter the Debra the Zebra calendar competition to be in with a chance of having their drawing of Debra printed in the 2009 Merton Walk to School calendar.

Debra the Zebra and Merton’s Travel Plan Officer, David Helmore, will be visiting three primary schools: Holy Trinity, Hollymount and St Matthews. By playing a game, they will enthuse the children to learn about how walking keeps you fit and healthy and, during morning assembly, they will also discuss the environmental benefits of walking as well as how to stay safe on the roads.

Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Traffic Management, Councillor William Brierly said: “Walking is such a healthy and environmentally-friendly way of getting around. If we get children into the habit of walking when they are young, hopefully it will become something they will enjoy and continue to do as they get older. This isn’t only about encouraging a healthy lifestyle for our children though, it’s also about teaching them road safety in an innovative and interesting way.”