YELLOW SPRINGS — Mills Lawn Elementary School joined schools from around the world to celebrate International Walk to School Day last month.
Approximately 68 percent of students from Mills Lawn walked and rolled to school along with parents, teachers and community leaders on Oct. 4.
The event started at 8:45 a.m. with kids, parents and community leaders walking from all corners of the village.
Walkers and bicyclists arrived at the school greeted by special activities associated with the walk including snacks, giveaways and traffic safety trivia.
Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, and concern for the environment. The events build connections between families, schools, and the broader community.
Walk to School Day was established in the United States in 1997 by the Partnership for a Walkable America. Canada and Great Britain already had walk to school programs in place. In 2000, these three countries joined together to create International Walk to School Day.
In May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School was established to assist communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bike to school. The National Center for Safe Routes to School serves as the national coordinating agency for Walk to School and Bike to School activities in the United States.
Walk to School Day began as a simple idea – children and parents, school and local officials walking to school together on a designated day. It is an energizing event, reminding everyone of the simple joy of walking to school, the health benefits of regular daily activity, and the need for safe places to walk and bike. Schools focus on health, safety, physical activity and concern for the environment.
Organizations supporting International Walk to School Day in the United States include America Walks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Highway Administration, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Safe Kids Worldwide, and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.