Schools across the country are finding clever ways to do their part in promoting good health and reducing pollution. A recent article in USA Today describes how some schools are encouraging children to walk or ride bikes to school rather than getting a ride from parents.
For some students, however, walking is not an option since they live too far from their schools. These children are encouraged to form car pools and walk for at least part of the way. Schools are beginning to realize that students can receive great health benefits from walking or biking as well as reduce traffic around schools and auto emissions.
One 8-year-old student enjoys the incentives her Boulder, Colorado school offers. Megan says, “You get treats too ? usually some kind of food.” And she adds, “Since I like animals, I want to save the environment.” The prizes being offered go beyond treats too. Some schools offer digital cameras, bike bells, and bottles of water. The national Safe Routes to School program (administered by the Federal Highway Administration) has funded 40 states to promote walking and biking to school.
Though many parents were apprehensive about the safety of their children walking to school, it was not long until they began recognizing all of the benefits. Katy Jones, manager of the Safe Routes to School program in North Carolina, says children have a greater chance of being struck by lightning than getting hit by a car.
Walking provides exercise and the opportunity to socialize before school. Walking can also reduce a child’s risk of developing obesity or diabetes later in life. It is also believed that exercise in the morning can make a child more responsive in class.
What do you think of school’s offering incentives to students who walk or ride bikes to school?
Would you allow your child to walk or ride a bike to school where you live?
Yes, I agree with everyone. We live maybe 2 blocks from our elementary school. So far I can walk with them. It helps me to have time to listen to my kids share anything. I know in the after school program they have the kids walk 1 mile together. When they get 5 miles the receive a small plastic shoe they put on a necklace. My kids like to play outside too.
I live too far away for my girls to walk to school. If we lived closer, we would walk everyday. As it is.. my girls are outside all the time. They love to play outside and choose that over the tv.
My kids walk to and from school. We live about 3 blocks away. I was surprised when the kids came home from school their first day last year and said they are 2 of only 12 kids that walk to school. Huh? We have a very large school and it is located in the middle of residential area. This is a great form of excercise, saves gas, and saves all the congestion at the parking lot.
When I was in elementry school a long time ago, I walked to & from school. It was only a few blocks away. It made me feel independent and mature. I felt responsible and felt that I also earned a level of trust from my parents. When I have children old enough to walk to school (as long as school is within a reasonable amount of distance), then I would want them to walk to school too. And if my kids aren't old enough quite yet, then I would walk with them everyday until they are. Great way to get excercise and start off the day right. And a major bonus to putting less pollution in our air.
I think walking to school is great for kids that are old enough to do it! For some kids this maybe the only exercise they get besides gym class. We live out in the country and this doesn't apply to us. I also think that this would be better for the school district, as their gas dollars would be saved somewhat.
I drive my children to school --there are too many weirdos in the world today -I'd rather go off to work knowing I saw them walk in the front door of school instead of wondering all day if someone talked to them or there sneakers are wet from the rain or snow! It gives me peace of mind!
I would love my daughter to be able to walk to school. The neighborhood I live in has too many dogs, a lot of them pitbulls for me to feel safe enough to let her do that. Our mailman has been attacked twice! There are always dogs running loose! I used to walk myself in the neighborhood now I drive to a park close by and walk. Its sad.
Walking to school is not an option for my daughter, although I wish it were. Physical education should be a daily class not once or twice a week.
I don't have kids so I don't understand why my neighbors kids gets off the bus its only 1/2 block from home but their grandmother is waiting at the bus stop to pick them up! Why is that? Is it so UNSAFE these days that 2 kids can't even walk 1/2 block? They are never outside more than 45 minutes! She claims its to hot. Well, they are kids! Someone help me understand this!
We walk unless its raining. We are only 3 minutes from the school. IF I have to drive to pick him up I try to do other errands at the same time. I am notorious for scheduling Dr appts, hair appts, dentist appts etc right after school is over just to save time and money
It is a great idea, but school is too far away and there aren't sidewalks for most of it. We all go for walks after dinner instead.
I am considering it, but my almost 9 year old has ADHD and I am concerned he will easily get distracted. I may pick up a pair of motorola walkie-talkies that way I can have contact with him the entire way there and back :)
I wholeheartedly endorse walking to school where it is feasible. Too few students who live close to our elementary schools walk. Given the right neighborhoos setting they should walk. However, the entire community should be enlightened about their walking & classes offered for the students and the community on how to watch out/protect the children. However, some areas are not conducive to walking. I live on a rural road with no sidewalks & the cars that go by travel much too rapidly. Also my daughter would have to walk alone. These are not good circumstances for any child to walk.
Do any of you worry about your kids walking to school alone? We live 9 miles from school but I am just afraid to let mine go anyway. I would walk with her if we lived closer.
I think it is great for the kids to walk to school. I know that exercise is great for the mind as well as the body. Go kids, get walking Pricilla