One Small Step to School, One Giant Leap for Your Community
Walking plays a central role in our lives, from our first tiny baby steps, to the seemingly huge “steps” we take to become adults. Walking to school helps us master the art of walking, giving parents a chance to spend quality time with children, helping reinforce the rules of the road, and creating a fun opportunity for kids to explore their world.
Beyond friendship and fun, ditching the daily drive in favor of the walk to school can have a lasting impact on the health of a community. I recently read a touching article that reminded me about the importance of getting kids walking and rolling. The article was about a community that had significantly reduced its crime rate. The local police chief confided that he measured success, not in the number of tickets written, but in the number of children riding bicycles on the street. This is how encouragement programs like Fire Up Your Feet help keep families fit, highlighting the importance of creating safe spaces where families can congregate for playtime and children can safely walk or roll to school.
This October, honor your health and the health of your community by participating in International Walk to School day on October 8, along with millions of families across the country and around the world. As an added incentive to participate, if you’re in a sponsored Fire Up Your Feet region (Metro Atlanta, Baltimore Area, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Oregon, Southwest Washington, Wisconsin, Washington DC and Virginia), Fire Up Your Feet will offer $12,000 in awards to schools that track walking activity anytime during the month. Schools tracking 25 or more walkers will be entered into a drawing that offers over $9,000 in awards, while an additional $3,000 will be awarded to schools with the most walkers during the second weekly breakout challenge.
Give walking to school a chance this October. Join millions of parents and community members in support of the national Safe Routes to School movement. Shine a light on walking to school. Help reinforce healthy lifelong habits for your kids. Do your part in generating less pollution from vehicle exhaust, and yes, be a part of the movement for safe streets and strong communities.