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Happy International Walk to School Day!

The League welcomes Matt Wempe, our brand new State and Local Advocacy Coordinator. He comes to us from Fort Collins, CO, where he was a transportation planner and Safe Routes to School Coordinator.

It’s a beautiful fall day here in the nation’s capital, made even better by all the children and parents walking to school for International Walk to School Day. They are joining families from throughout the world to celebrate walking as an excellent way to start the school day.  Besides the absolute fun of walking with friends and neighbors, there are myriad benefits: children arrive at school energized and ready to learn, they are closer to the recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise, fewer parents drive (as much as 10 to 14 percent of morning traffic can be generated by parents driving children to school), and there is a greater sense of school community.

Students at Portland, Oregon's Prescott Elementary School walk to school

If this sounds great to you, it does to us as well!  League president Andy Clarke joined students in Portland, Oregon on their morning walk to school today.  “All over the world, kids are walking and biking to school today,” he said, “and if the students at Prescott Elementary are any indication they are loving it.  We do have an important responsibility to make sure our children can travel safe – they’ll take care of the fun!”


Prescott Elementary Students complete their Bike Train ride to school

Today doesn’t have to be the only day of the year your family walks.  Safe Routes to School programs in communities nationwide work year round to support walking and biking as viable ways to get to school.  The League has been working to protect Safe Routes to School funding in the federal transportation bill reauthorization.  These critical funds provide a real benefit for communities across America to directly improve walking and biking infrastructure and programs for some of our most vulnerable citizens.  Keep updated and learn more about the program at the League’s Safe Routes to School page.

Visit the National Center for Safe Routes to School to explore what your community and school are doing.  Mark your calendar now for the next International Walk to School Day on October 3, 2012!


Also see Secretary LaHood’s blog post on Walk to School Day.

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