One of the best things about living in Chicago is that we walk e v e r y w h e r e. The grocery store is less than a block away. The library is right around the corner. Lake Michigan is a mere 10 minute stroll from our front door. I feel so lucky to not rely on our car to get us where we need and want to be.
Perhaps the best walking destination for us is school. Just about half a mile – and 11 minutes – is all it takes for us to get to and from school. Thanks to walking, the kids and I actually have a chance to chat (no distraction from the radio or in-car DVD player). And, walking is so much easier than strapping the kids into their car seats just so we can deal with traffic and lines.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 9, is International Walk to School Day. It gives us a nice reminder about why walking to school is such a special choice. If the walk to school is a manageable distance along a safe route, I encourage you to wake up a little earlier tomorrow, lace up your shoes, and enjoy the fresh air.
Walking to school is fun -there is something joyful about crisp fall air! And, my kids would much rather RUN! JUMP! SKIP! than sit buckled in a car seat.
Walking to school is healthy – just walking to and from school, my kids walk an extra mile everyday. What a great way to teach them about exercise and healthy habits!
Walking to school is better for the environment – our car doesn’t idle while we wait for the kids. And, we save a ton on gas thanks to walking.
Walking to school is a lesson in safety – kids learn boundaries (stop at the crosswalk! hold my hand!), and they learn to stop for cars, buses, and the crossing guard’s hand.
Walking to school is a nice way to be a part of the community – most days we see the same people on our route, and we always offer a smile and a “good morning” to the familiar faces. While on foot, the kids notice changes in the neighborhood like new street signs and new neighbors and Halloween decorations. They feel like they are a real part of this community.
This is our school’s second year participating in the event. As the chairperson for our school’s Green Committee, I am especially excited about tomorrow’s event. I am so grateful to my friends at Barefoot Books for their kind donation of 9 copies of the book “Ruby’s School Walk” to our school’s pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms. It is a charming story about the imagined adventures a little girl experiences as she walks to school with her mom.
Before handing them off to the classrooms, I added a note from the green committee encouraging kids to find the joy and adventure in a walk through their neighborhoods.
Dear Boys and Girls,
Our world is a beautiful and special place, and we have to take care of it. One way to be kind to the planet is to walk instead of driving. When you take walks with your parents, be sure to watch for nature all around you – leaves falling to the ground, squirrels busy collecting nuts, clouds floating in the sky. Nature is everywhere!
We hope this book helps you find adventure when walking in your neighborhood!
The Parent Association Green Committee
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