Thousands of schools across the nation are expected to hold events in October for Walk to School Month, which encourages communities to work together to help more young people to, well, walk to school.
That’s the case in Michigan, where the Michigan Safe Routes to School Program is aiming to get parents, students and educators across the state to “trade the car keys and buses in favor of athletic shoes and Walking School Buses” on Oct. 3, which is International Walk to School Day.
Studies show that walking to school encourages physical fitness and healthy habits and can benefit academic performance among young people. It also builds support for walkable and bikeable communities, according to a press release from the Michigan Fitness Foundation.
Michigan schools can register for the big event by visiting www.saferoutesmichigan.org/w2sd. Registrants will receive a number of walking-themed resources, as well as official recognition as an International Walk to School Day participant.
“Walking to school addresses many quality of life issues for students,” said Marilyn Lieber, president and CEO of the Michigan Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports. “When students walk or bicycle to school using safe routes, they receive the physical activity needed for good health. They also learn valuable pedestrian safety skills, lessons on the environment, and the importance of community.”
Of course, Michigan schools aren’t the only campuses that will host walking events on Oct. 3. The National Center for Safe Routes to School also is promoting walking and biking via its website, which includes planning and outreach materials, and a map that highlights events being held throughout the country: http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/.