Elementary- and college-aged students in the area are getting used to taking strolls together because of a new program called Feet Fleet.
Every Friday afternoon, Virginia Tech students pick up about 20 students from Harding Avenue Elementary School and walk them to their respective homes.
Kyle Gardiner, a senior political science and philosophy major, created Feet Fleet last spring to save energy, increase sustainability, and pull the Tech and Blacksburg communities together.
The program has been positively received by those from Harding Avenue Elementary, including the school’s principal Meggan Marshall.
“Kyle’s vision for the program is to make it something sustainable without having his volunteers here — that it becomes a cultural trend within the community that all of our kids are walking to school,” she said.
Karen Hager’s son participates in Feet Fleet.
“The program shows the kids a way to get home without using gas, and it educates them about sustainability,” Hager said.
Lindsay McKeever, a senior humanities, science and environment major, agrees. “Right now the town of Blacksburg only has programs for infrastructure,” she said, “and Feet Fleet is exactly what this area needs for providing awareness to the community about living healthier lifestyles.”
Typically 15 Tech students participate, but more than 40 have in helped in the past.
“The turn out for Tech students has been awesome so far,” Gardiner said.
However, he said would like to see a greater turn out for elementary school kids, hoping the number of students doubles by spring.
Most of the Tech volunteers are part of the Freshmen Leadership Experience, a program run through the
The program is currently taking a break due to weather. Feet Fleet will resume March 16.