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Walking To School Is In

Walking To School Is In

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?

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  • Salemsw By Salemsw
    08.26.08  

    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!

  • obxforever By obxforever
    08.27.08  

    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.

  • meowmix318 By meowmix318
    08.27.08  

    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.

  • pamalu1029 By pamalu1029
    08.28.08  

    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.

  • duke25fan By duke25fan
    09.15.08  

    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.

  • Jjapan By Jjapan
    10.21.08  

    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.

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