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Are you a parent? Part of a community group? A sporting club? A school community? Local government? Health sector? Transport sector? Fitness industry?   Join a vast range of Southern Grampians community members and share your ideas to get our community moving!                                       Anyone and everyone is warmly welcomed to the upcoming active transport workshop, to provide valuable insights, experiences and views on active transport across our region. So what exactly is active transport? Active Transport includes walking, cycling, skating, skateboarding and any incidental activity associated with the use of transport. Currently, only 25% of Southern Grampians children use active transport to get to/from school, and just 46% meet the recommended physical activity guidelines of 60 minutes per day.   During the upcoming session on Thursday 29th November, we’ll investigate influences on our local children utilising active transport - what helps or hinders kids walking, riding or scooting to and/from school? Secondly, we’ll put our heads together and generate some ideas to create a Southern Grampians environment/culture that welcomes and encourages active transport. Increasing rates of active transport is just one way to increase our children’s physical activity levels and improve their health status!   Please circulate this event invite to anyone you think may be interested. A diverse range of participants are needed to piece together ideas that will get off the ground! Your own perspective, insight and support is greatly appreciated.   ***Details: When: Thursday November 29th Time: 4-6pm Spot: Hamilton District Skills Centre, Mt Baimbridge Rd Hamilton A light afternoon tea will be supplied.   RSVP is appreciated but not essential. RSVP’s or any queries can be directed to Ebony at ebony.jenkins@wdhs.net or on 5551 8475 .   Hope to see you on Thursday 29th November!

Hamilton North Primary School now have a permanent sign erected at their school drop off point!                                               For the past two years during VicHealth’s Walk to School month, a number of families have been dropping children off at and around this point to enable them to walk the remainder of the way to school together. This trend naturally grew and since the Walk to School month of 2017, a number of motivated students have continued walking from this point of a morning. This year, thanks to more locally implemented support from VicHealth, the school has added permanent signage to the point, encouraging families to utilise it and walk the remaining 800m to school all year around. The drop off point is an action aligning with the local GenR8 Change initiative, in making the active choice easier for children. Use of a drop off point doesn’t just allow kids more quality social time with peers, but can increase safety as a cohort walk together, and provide opportunity for those students whom live a distance from school to get a small walk in before the bell. Hamilton North highly encourage use of the drop off point at parent/carer discretion. The school is not responsible for students until they enter the school grounds in Andrews St. Parents/carers are responsible for their children walking or riding to school from any point.     Is your school interested in displaying permanent drop off point signage? Some support is available. Please contact Ebony for queries at ebony.jenkins@wdhs.net , or on (03) 5551 8475.

Schools in every township of the Southern Grampians region are participating in VicHealth's Walk to School Month! Fifteen schools are currently engaging with the program, using the month as a catalyst for more sustained increases in student walking.  Even our most rural and remote schools are participating by adapting the program to suit their individual school community. From encouraging students to walk a number of laps of the school prior to the bell, to having the school bus drop students off away school gates, and implementing a drop off point to encourage students to walk the remainder of the way to school together, there are heaps of strategies our schools have been trialing! St Mary's Primary School Hamilton 3300 are breaking down barriers by encouraging students to meet at a point close to school each morning and walk the remainder of the way together! And look at the turn out!                                              Meanwhile, students at Branxholme Wallacedale Community School get out and complete as many laps of the school oval as they can between being dropped at school and entering class. Branxholme students feature here with the GenR8 Change/Walk to School branded umbrellas that are allocated to schools as program prizes, making sure habits continue - rain hail or shine!                                              Three of our regional schools, Penshurst Primary, Cavendish Primary and Dunkeld Consolidated, have also been lucky enough to participate in some extra Walking activities with the Bendigo Community Bank Dunkeld Branch, one of the key sponsors of the 2018 program.                                            Walk to School month is certainly in full swing and we look forward to watching these newly formed habits grow over the remainder of the 2018 school year and beyond!       Key contact for more information or queries: Ebony Jenkins, ebony.jenkins@wdhs.net, (03) 5551 8475