Way to school participants in Donostia-San Sebastián receive present from Olentzero

CIVITAS Initiative

According to Basque Christmas traditions the charcoal burner Olentzero comes to town late at night on 24 December, to drop off presents for children. On 17 December he also brought a present for the children of the Arantzazuko Ama School in Donostia-San Sebastián, who participate in the Way To School project. This way, the pupils were rewarded for two months of walking to school.

Olentzero handed out the present, a winter headwear, at the meeting points of the walking route to school. Since November 2010 the children from the first to sixth grades of this primary school in the Martutene district had been walking to school without their parents. In collaboration with their families, neighbours from the district and the Mobility Department, the children have defined a safe route to school and identified dangerous spots. The mobility department considers involving the citizens in solving the detected problems as an important means for reaching a lasting impact on mobility behaviour.Between 8:45 and 9.00, the children walk in groups to school. At the meeting points and the dangerous spots along the route there are volunteers, who guarantee the safety of the children. These volunteers are mostly parents from the school. The black spots detected by the children and the adult volunteers, have been improved by the Mobility Department. The interventions include a slightly elevated passenger crossing at the main entrance of the school and several improvements of sidewalks. In the local press it was announced that Olentzero supports sustainable and safe mobility!

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