In two weeks, we will be gleefully lost in a sea of hundreds of screaming students, joyous to be part of Walk to School Day – or perhaps happy just to be goofing off before class.

We were kids ourselves once.

While some of our youngest participants may not grasp what the hubbub will be about, Walk to School Day is about the joy of being a child and a reminder for us, as parents, that walking and school can go hand in hand.

Indeed, there was a time when walking to school well outnumbered how many children arrived in the family car. Modernity notwithstanding, a sterile, silent drive in our cars cannot replace the walk for daily health; some studies even show that sitting inside a car in idling traffic – with the windows up – has been associated with nine to 12 times[1] more pollution than outdoor pollution in the same location. In short, the walk to school provides a healthier option for our children.

…some of our fondest, loving memories with our children are made and shared on these walks; the same kind of memories found in our family photo albums…

Of course, we could make a mile-long list of the “Top 10 Health Benefits of Walking” and all the reasons why we shouldn’t drive our kids to school in cars, but a collection of bulletpoints doesn’t quite capture the essence of why walking to school is much more than another natural prescription. In many ways, it is – humans are made to walk and our bodies are better for it when we do so – but walking to school transcends it.

We see the wildlife that silently coexists with us – even in the big city – as squirrels skitter across the trees and get to chat a moment with our neighbors whom we would not have seen otherwise. Most importantly, our children get to share with us how they see the world, through the singular and extraordinary lens of youth wisdom.

Put simply, some of our fondest, loving memories with our children are made and shared on these walks; the same kind of memories found in our family photo albums. Memories that our children will soon expand upon as they have their own families and carry the torch.

Here at WalkSafe, we like to encourage schools and their surrounding neighborhoods to carry that torch during October’s Walk to School Day festivities. This year, WalkSafe is partnered with Miami-Dade County’s Liberty City Elementary School, joining the thousands of other schools worldwide celebrating along with us on the 4th.

If your school is celebrating Walk to School Day this year, we encourage you to join in – and if they aren’t celebrating it, bring it up! Walk to School Day is a great way for everyone to experience that morning walk. Let’s make it part of our daily routine with our kids.

 

  1. [1]https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/12/children-risk-air-pollution-cars-former-uk-chief-scientist-warns