iWalk

Did you know that October 2009 is International Walk to School month? Each community's goal might be different -- lobbying safer pedestrian routes to school; promoting healthy activity and lifestyles; or cutting down on pollution created by driving to school -- but worldwide, students, families, and teachers are trying to walk or bike to school more. And the United States' day to celebrate biking and walking to school is October 7 -- today!


I work at an elementary school as a family outreach specialist, and today I teamed up with some awesome PTO parents to hold our Bike-Walk program's kick-off party. We encouraged all students who could to walk or bike to school. If the kids didn't have a choice and were bused or driven, then they could walk the perimeter of their playground twice during one of the recesses. If they continuing doing one of those things for 10 days, then they can earn a prize and a chance to win in a drawing for a larger one later this year. Today, we offered free hot cocoa in the morning before school. It was a great success! Lots of students and families showed up, and we had to shut the cocoa bar down in the end because school was starting.

Do you walk or bike to work or school? Our school's goal in having a Bike-Walk program is to encourage kids to get active. This will gear up into our running and walking clubs in the spring, where kids can rack up miles for a kids' marathon and a kids' 10K race. Last year the PTO established safe routes to school in the neighborhood. Plus, all this foot-powered commuting is earth-friendly. What's your goal in hoofing it to work or school?

I walk because it's a nice start to my day. Walking helps clear my head and get my brain in work mode. It is also a short enough distance to not be a hardship during rotten weather while remaining rather ridiculous to drive. I love it, even when I have to schlep through the early-morning darkness while snow falls on the neighboring mountains (and, apparently, even in town today!). Snow?! That's right -- snow. Happy fall, folks.


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