Grand Junction Survived These Extraordinary Distances Walking To School
Did you traverse deadly swamps, deserts, predator-filled jungles, and scorpion-infested terrain in order to get to school each morning? You wouldn't believe what youngsters in Grand Junction, Colorado had to endure just to pursue early education.
Actually, you probably would believe it. Despite what many people say, it appears as though we had it pretty cushy here on the Western Slope. I asked on Facebook, "Seriously... How far did you walk to school each day?"
The Sob Story Our Parents Used To Tell
The old cliche goes a little something like this:
Your mother and I used to have to walk 12 miles to school in chest-deep snow, uphill both ways.
I knew this was garbage because my dad was from Benton, Illinois, the flatland capital of the world. In addition, he didn't even know my mom back then. She grew up in Grand Junction and lived right next door to the school.
Walking/Biking To School By The Numbers
Information provided by pedbikeinfo.org shares interesting data regarding the average distances walked/biked to school by various age groups. This 2017 study reveals roughly one in ten students aged five to 17 commuted to school by walking or bicycling. Keep in mind, that's a national average. Here in Western Colorado, it may be safe to say that number would be slightly higher.
According to the report, the median distance to the school in 2017 was:
- Elementary students: 2.1 miles
- Middle school students: 3.2 miles
- High School students: 3.6 miles
Walking To School In Grand Junction, Colorado
According to the School District 51 official webpage, elementary school students who live more than two miles from school, and middle and high school students who live more than three miles from school are eligible to ride the bus to and from school.
Did You Know This About Our Local Public Busses?
D51schools.org states that the district contracts with Student Transportation of America (STA) to provide transportation of eligible students to and from schools within their attendance area. Though not required by law, transportation to the school in your attendance area is provided according to the guidelines set forth in the Board of Education Policy EEA.
When It Was All Said and Done
The replies to the original Facebook question suggest our walks to school weren't particularly bad. In some cases, the walk to the bus stop would have been a far greater distance than the trek to school.