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January 2010
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A Good Old Fashioned Walk to School

Last night while watching the news I was drawn in by a story about the Burlington Elementary school district. It was a walk to school program, encouraging parents and children to walk to school instead of driving.

Like many of the surrounding suburbs of Toronto, Burlington has larger homes on bigger properties and streets that seem to go no where. In addition to that parents of the Burlington area were worried about student safety (and who wouldn’t these days with two pedestrian deaths in the Toronto area yesterday). Each day more kids get a drive to school than walk.

The program in Burlington encourages teachers and student volunteers to ‘pick up’ students much like a bus would, but instead of a bus they all walk together. It is active transportation at its best. Plus it means more time for students to socialize with their friends.

There are so many benefits to students walking to school:

  • It stimulates their bodies making them more alert and attentive at school
  • It stimulates their metabolism; increasing their metabolic rates and food processing abilities
  • It gets the ‘social bug’ out – instead of socializing in the classroom students socialize on the way to school
  • It encourages life long lessons in exercise

Ontario is encouraging students to walk to school, as both a green community initiative and as an active transportation initiative. There are no 40 communities participating in the Active and Safe Routes to School Program, all the way from Windsor to Ottawa and up and over to Kenora.

How did your kids get to school today? Change up your routines and encourage your children to be more active.