Merton schoolchildren sing to go green

Merton pupils put pen to paper to promote National Walk to School Week by raising the profile of the health and environmental benefits of walking to school.

Children from schools across the borough took part in the Merton Council-run competition to come up with rap and song lyrics containing a message promoting sustainable travel – following a similar competition run by radio station Kiss FM last month.

Shannon Lindo (15) from Ursuline RC High School, in Crescent Road, Wimbledon, scooped the overall top prize in the contest with her rap about walking to school but there were many other winners in different categories from many of Merton’s schools. Kiss FM will be visiting Shannon at school to record her rap as a podcast for all to pick up on-line.

The talented young lyricists received their awards at a special ceremony held in the council chamber in Merton’s civic centre, Morden, on Thursday 18 June. Merton Mayor Councillor Nick Draper handed out the prizes to the winners with the help of Kiss FM breakfast show presenter Charlie Hedges.

Mayor of Merton Councillor Nick Draper said: ‘It’s great to see so much talent in the borough. I heard Shannon’s song and was impressed both by the strong health and environmental messages and by the complex internal rhythms that were in her rap. It’s a wonderfully creative way to engage these young people in the importance of living an active life.’

Merton Council’s cabinet member for environment and leisure services Councillor David Simpson said: ‘We had a fantastic response to the competition and I was delighted to see so many young people working so hard to promote greener ways of travelling to school. It is great to see that we have so many talented writers in the borough.

‘Protecting the environment and cutting CO2 emissions is vital to our commitment to maintaining Merton as one of the greenest boroughs in London and making sure we keep it as a pleasant place for our residents and visitors to live, work and enjoy.’

Ends

Notes to editors

First picture: Kiss FM presenter Charlie Hedges, teacher Yvonne Symcox, Winner Shannon Lindo and the Mayor Cllr Nick Draper.

Schools who took part in the competition

All Saints Church of England Primary School

Aragon Primary School

Benedict Primary School

Dundonald Primary School

Garden Primary School

Gorringe Park Primary School

Hollymount Primary School

Joseph Hood Primary School

Merton Abbey Primary School

Stanford Primary School

Wimbledon Chase Primary School

Ursuline Roman Catholic High School

The Rowans

Lyrics to the winning rap by Shannon Lindo of Urusline RC High School

Verse 1

Walking to school can become a real tradition

Get kids all over town to make it an expedition

To mingle, be healthy and have their own position

Taking things for granted is not a brilliant decision

You’re lucky you’ve got legs to walk, perhaps to an exhibition

With all the disabled, less fortunate people just waiting for their vision

To see what it’s like to be free, walk safely to education

It’s been a long time since they’ve not had a complication

Chorus

Walk to school and eliminate the thought of beating time

Be happy, have fun and make it a real good time

Of walking to school everyday with the best frame of mind

And that’s what walking to school is, and trust me, it’ll be divine