September 27th, 2011

Walk to School Day

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Walk to School Day

When I was in elementary school we walked to school. There was really no other option except for an occasional ride from a parent. Not only did we walk, but we walked by ourselves (my sister was usually far in front of me, making sure no one saw us together). No adult supervision-just us kids, traffic, and LOTS of strangers.  And we survived.

Walk to School DayAs much as I would like them to, it’s not logistically possible for my own children to walk to school. We live too far and there aren’t sidewalks on a few segments of the route. As a result, their “morning walk” consists of taking 15 steps to the bus stop and waiting for that big yellow bus to pull up so they can sit down and ride to school.

Just because walking might not be as convenient as it was when I was in school doesn’t mean walking is any less important. It’s probably more important now given the increase in childhood obesity rates- approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and teens aged 2—19 years are obese.

As a way to promote and encourage communities to create walkable and bikable environments, Healthy Child Healthy World and Every Body Walk have partnered together to promote National Walk to School Day on October 5th.

On October 5th, kids and families from around the globe will be putting on their sneakers and walking or biking to school.

Why walk or bike?

  • Promotes physical activity.
  • It’s free.
  • It’s  easy.
  • It’s healthy and green.
  • Helps prevent obesity.
  • Improves air quality – less cars on the road emitting toxic chemicals into the environment.
  • Promotes awareness within a community for safe routes for biking and walking.

What if it’s too far or logistically impossible to walk?

In our community the sidewalks are sporadic. There aren’t enough to get us from our home to school safely. So rather than walking the entire distance to the school we have a designated meeting area within walking distance of the school that allows families to park and walk together.

How to organize a walk or bike to school

Check with Walktoschool.org to see if an event has already been planned in your area. Register your own event with Walktoschool.org. Go to the site for ideas, suggestions and other information on how to make your event a success.

Need a little more encouragement?

Check out these students doing the Ped Safety Dance-

 

Hopefully your walking and biking to school won’t start and end on October 5th.  Try to incorporate it into your weekly or monthly schedule.

Are you ready to walk or bike on October 5th? Do you regularly walk or bike to school or work? Does your community celebrate National Walk to School Day?

[Photo used under Creative Commons from D. Sharon Pruitt/Flickr]

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6 Responses to “Walk to School Day”

  1. This is so great! Every day that the weather allows we already walk with Cody from school at the end of the day, but we can certainly give this a try even though it’s so darn early in the morning. :)

  2. So nice that you can walk home with Cody every day. Do you usually drive him in the morning? We are not morning people over here so I completely understand how every second counts in the morning! One morning would work-October 5th we’ll set our alarms and bike to school!

  3. I walk to school with the boys most days, so this is an easy task! Aside from helping the environment, I love walking to school with my boys because I get to talk to them, and we have this game where we each make up a story one day a week and we have to finish it up before we get to school. It’s so fun, and we get to bond. When we drive, the radio is on and there’s no talking…can;t wait for WALK TO SCHOOL DAY!

  4. What a great idea Tiffany-I can only imagine the stories that have been told on the way to school! You are very lucky that you can walk to school most days. I know when we are in the car there’s not usually a lot of chatting-especially early in the morning. Walking together is such a great time to catch up. I see that even when we take our dog out for a walk together.

  5. I walk 2 miles to work, and unless I have something planned in the evening, I walk 2 miles home! Thankfully I only work three days a week. :) Sure, I’d like to get a little more sleep in the morning, but the benefits outweigh the costs. Taking the bus or driving would no doubt stress me out more, and I feel really good about being physically active.

  6. […] By admin var addthis_product = 'wpp-255'; var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true};By Lori Popkewitz Alper, Founder and Editor of Groovy Green Livin […]

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

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