Remember those days when kids used to walk to school?
The Partnership for a Walkable America is trying to bring that concept back into our busy day to day lives.
With an International Walk To School Day, of course.
Walk To School Day History
The Partnership for a Walkable America sponsored the first Walk to School day in 1997 in Chicago, getting the idea from the United Kingdom. It was done in an effort to make the surrounding communities more walker friendly.
Popularity for the day grew and by 2002 there were people in all 50 states joining 3 million people around the world in the 2nd annual International Walk To School Day.
By 2005 the government saw that the day had such importance that they decided to provide funding to allow states to develop different programs for the day.
With the government going to all this trouble, you might be wondering “what’s the point?”
Well, here are a few reasons that might help explain…
Better Health of Kids
- According to the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, obesity has doubled in children in the past 20 years.
- Only 10% of kids nationwide walk to school. Of kids who live within a mile of their school, only 25% walk.
- Also, only a 1/4 of Americans are able to get in the 30 minutes of exercise a day, recommended by the Surgeon General.
Improve Air Quality
- Walking to school would allow one less trip to be taken in the car and would allow the air to be that much more free of pollutants.
- Having kids walk to school regularly would help them to become more accustomed to the rules of the road such as looking both ways before crossing and only crossing at walkways.
- With more people walking to school it will hopefully encourage state governments to install more pedestrian signals at walkways, making it safer to cross.
Sure, I know as Americans we all live such busy lives that it’s just easier to drop the kids off at school on the way to work, rather than walk with them. But take my advice, make time!
You’ll not only be getting some exercise for yourself and your kids, but also allowing time to talk with and further your relationship with them.
So if you’re even a little interested in finding out more, check out how to get involved in International Walk to School Day.