International Walk To School Day: Making it work everyday

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International Walk To School Day: Making it work everyday
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alt This week, schools across the region will celebrate International Walk to School Day. It’s an annual event — this year on Oct. 5 — that’s intended to encourage families to consider commuting to school by foot.

Like Bike to Work Day, it’s a great idea with noble aspirations. Families that participate may find that walking fits their routine better than dealing with a frustrating car drop-off or racing to make the bus. Maybe school communities will use it to coordinate walking school buses, where adults chaperone groups of children from home to school, which can last through the school year.

Still, a one-day event cannot change what’s become an entrenched mode of commuting for most families. There are many obstacles to overcome before a parent might feel comfortable with the walking option. Quite a few of them were voiced when I previously wrote about the benefits of walking to school.

In D.C., Jennifer Hefferan’s goal is to help families and schools work around those obstacles. She’s the coordinator for the District Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program. The program, which dozens of schools in the District have relied upon, helps schools improve safety for students who walk and bike to school.

According to surveys, she said, the top concerns for parents when it comes to their kids walking to school are: long distances, traffic danger, adverse weather and fear of crime.

Walk The Talk

Our trusted experts explore ways and offer tips to incorporate walking into your daily life.
Groups across America, of all ages and abilities, are finding a new sense of community by walking.
Just 30 minutes of walking, five times a week, is enough to improve your overall health.
Walking is also good for mind and soul, sparking your creativity and inspiration.