I was a lazy kid. Despite living a stone’s throw away from my school growing up, I can count on one hand the number of times I walked to school. Looking back at grade school pictures, I probably could have used the exercise.
But when I was growing up, I don’t remember anyone encouraging walking to school the way we do now. The entire month of October is Walk to School Month, October 4-8 is Walk to School Week and October 6 is International Walk to School Day.
Kids need 30-60 minutes of exercise each day. Walking or cycling to and from school is an ideal way to get some of that activity. Roughly 10% of children nationwide walk to school regularly. Even among those kids living within a mile of their school, only 25% are regular walkers.
So why not use this month as an opportunity to stretch your legs and get moving. Encourage others to do the same. Organize a Walk to School Day or week this month. You might find that your kids enjoy it so much they’ll want to do it every day (weather permitting of course – we do live in Missouri).
MoDOT oversees the Safe Routes to School program which provides safer biking and walking accommodations for children in grades K-8. The program is designed to provide public awareness and outreach efforts and improve biking and walking conditions around schools.
To find out more about Safe Routes to School, visit http://www.modot.org/safety/SafeRoutestoSchool.htm.
To find out what events are planned in Missouri or to plan one of your own, visit http://www.walktoschool.org/who/seestate.cfm?st=MO.