It used to happen all the time – kids actually walked to school. Most of our parents have exciting stories about trudging through snow or rain for miles to get to school on time. (My dad keeps trying to convince me he walked through snow but he grew up in Savannah. I’m not buying it.)
Well, today is the official U.S. Walk To School Day. The whole month of October is celebrated internationally as Walk to School Month, and the idea is to promote the health and environmental benefits of walking and bicycling.
As much as I support the idea of walking to school, at present my kids don’t have a sidewalk all the way from our house to the school. We have a sidewalk for half of the mile walk. Or if you go the long way, we have sidewalks for a three-mile walk but I think that seems a bit far for a kid to carry a book bag. (And what I mean by that is that would be a bit far for mom to carry two book bags. I’ll happily walk three miles sans books bags.)
My neighbor and I debated driving to the neighborhood closest to the where the sidewalk begins and then walking the rest of the way with the kids. My kids weren’t interested at all so I wasn’t going to force it on them. Maybe next year the county will have a sidewalk for the other half-mile, and it will be easier to convince them to walk.
Gwinnett County has improved dramatically for walkers since I grew up here. In the 1980s there were NO sidewalks! Now, I can actually walk to a lot of places from our house – the park, the library, restaurants, businesses – just not the school.
Did your kids walk to school today? Is there a safe route with a sidewalk all the way to school? Do they normally walk to school? What would be a reasonable distance to ask a kid to walk or bicycle?