Have you done it yet? Ever? Walking your kids to school has a myriad of benefits for families, their health, the environment and local communities. Kids learn from their parents the value of a feet-first mindset. Who knows? When your kids grow up and commute to work someday, perhaps they’ll recall school morning and/or afternoon walks and opt out of being a daily single-car driver.
October is International Walk to School Month. Oct. 3, 2012 is Walk to School Day with some neighborhoods creating a “walking school bus” to pick up kids en route to school. Join thousands of parents and kids who take a foot-friendly commute to school this fall. One day can make an impact.
Seattle-area mom, Anne, shares why her family values walking to school and shifting their suburban lifestyle to live more locally and drive less:
“As parents, we all want the very best for our kids. Best education. Best neighborhood. Best community. As moms, we spend a considerable amount of time in the car, running kids to school, to soccer and a host of other activities. Not only does driving around get expensive, but it can also take away precious family time and feel like you are living in the car.
“After spending three years commuting 30 minutes each way to school and activities, our family made a commitment to localize – schools, activities and daily routine – in an effort to drive less. Kids grow quickly and we want to spend quality time connecting face to face with our kids and not looking at them in the rear view mirror.”
Dad finds quality time on walks to school
Ed, a Seattle dad, has walked to school for years: “The daily walk to and from school with my daughter is one of the greatest treasures of being a parent. For 10 or 15 minutes each way, we’re completely free from the day’s distractions of work, homework, chores, music, TV, web–whatever. It’s just the two of us and whatever is on our minds. Quality time of the highest degree.”
Join the movement to get kids walking or biking to school. Why? Safe Routes to School stats show a 20th-century US trend away from kids walking to school.
- In 1969, 48 % of kids 5 to 14 years of age walked or biked to school
- In 2009, 13 % of kids 5 to 14 years of age walked or biked to school
Let’s reverse that trend in the 21st century.