COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The Columbus Police Department presented the “International Walk to School Day Award” to Wynnton Arts Academy Thursday afternoon.

The award is for the school’s role in fostering a safe environment that allowed students, parents, faculty and staff to safely walk to school on October 12, 2022.

Last year, the walk started at 6:45 a.m. in front of the United Methodist Church on Wynnton Road. Due to the large turnout, police blocked off part of Wynnton Road to allow everyone to walk safely.

The department says this annual event helps to raise awareness about the safety concerns that affect students walking or biking to school.

“It lets parents and community leaders and teachers and staff see what improvements might need to be done and be able to make it safer for children to walk to school,” said Corporal Robert Greene. “Things that might need improvement are sidewalks, cracks in the sidewalks, no sidewalks at all, or crosswalks where there should be some at, where there’s not. Crossing signals where there’s not.”

Safe Kids Columbus also assists in safety efforts for students who walk to school. The organization offers reflective strips to students that can be added to bookbags or clothing in order to make students more visible to cars.