Approximately 20 years ago, Grahamwood Elementary became the first Memphis school to host an International Walk to School Day event. This year, FedEx, Safe Kids Inc., Le Bonheur, and City of Memphis officials joined in as students walked, biked, strolled and cheered their way from the Summer Avenue Kroger to Grahamwood. The event was organized by P.E. teachers Jo McCawley and Andrew Martin. Ms. McCawley explained, “Parents and community members were encouraged to join the kids to show support for our school while celebrating the benefits of walking.” A huge crowd of 700+ participated in the Walk to School Day event. Kroger generously donated bottles of water and cookies to those who completed the walk.
After the walk, FedEx Senior Vice President Lance Moll, Special Assistant to the Mayor Director Ike Griffith, and Le Bonheur’s Director of Injury Prevention/Safe Kids Coordinator Susan Helms presented Grahamwood’s Principal Pete Johnson with their plans to make the streets leading to the school safer. These organizations, working cooperatively along with Shelby County Schools and Grahamwood Elementary, will add flashing street lights, signage, enhanced crosswalks, and reduced speed limits around the school. All-in-all it was a win-win day for engaging students, the community, and a host of stakeholders in raising safety awareness and making Grahamwood Elementary’s school environment safer for everyone.