Students in Israel walk to school carrying signs promoting safe roadways. (photo courtesy of iwalktoschool.org)

Started in Chicago in 1997 by the Partnership for a Walkable America (modeled after a similar event held in the United Kingdom), Walk to School Day has grown into an international event with participation from all 50 states and more than 3 million walkers in more than 40 countries worldwide.

Walking to school encourages kids to be healthy, is good for the environment, and helps build safer communities. As communities have moved away from neighborhood schools and more children ride the bus (or cars) to school, childhood obesity and related illnesses have increased.

Walk to School Day aims to teach kids about walking–using crosswalks, identifying safe routes, and understanding traffic rules. What I especially love about Walk to School Day is that it helps kids (and their parents) think about incorporating activity into our regular routines rather than viewing exercise as a separate event. So often we hop into our cars out of habit even though there are other options.

Happy Walk to School Day! Be well.

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