Brittin, Diamond and Kessler elementary schools are participating in today’s International Walk/Bike to School Day.
The first Walk to School Day was held in Chicago in 1997 and organized by the Partnership for a Walkable America.
In 2000, the United Kingdom and Canada joined the United States. Since then, more than 40 countries have started participating.
In 2013, more than 4,400 events were held across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The goal of the event is to raise awareness for the importance of physical activity, the need for walk able communities and the health and community benefits associated with walking to school.
Each elementary school on Fort Stewart has a slightly different schedule of events, so parents should check with their children’s schools if they want to participate.
In support of healthy behaviors, soldiers who would like to walk their children to school will be released after morning accountability and will be given a proof-of-attendance form after the event.
Here are a few reasons students are encouraged to walk to school:
1. It’s an adventure. There are many animals and plants in Southeast Georgia that people probably don’t notice when they’re riding in a car. Walking to school gives parents and children the chance to see flowers, dragonflies, egrets and maybe even frogs before the school day even begins.
2. It’s healthy. Children and teens need at least an hour of physical activity every day in order to build strong bones, muscles and joints. Physical activity also helps prevent obesity and depression.
3. It’s good for the environment. The cars and trucks we drive emit a lot of pollutants into the environment. These pollutants cause a dangerous increase in ground-level ozone, dust and smoke, all of which can lead to more asthma attacks and allergic reactions. Walking to school helps provide safer air for everyone to breathe.
4. It’s good for the community. More people walking to school means less traffic congestion in the morning. Also, research shows that communities with higher rates of walkers and bikers have fewer vehicle crashes.
5. It’s good for the wallet. Walking to school is a much cheaper option after considering the price of gas. Even if it’s a short distance to drive, starting the car and sitting in traffic can burn a lot of fuel and drastically reduce gas mileage.
For general information, call Sandra Durrence at 912-435-5071.