Hundreds walk to school despite cold, wet weather

By: Karen Edwards Email
By: Karen Edwards Email

News 12 This Morning/Thursday March 6, 2014

(WRDW) -- The third annual Georgia Walk to School day, a success at Greenbrier Elementary where Georgia Safe Routes to School outreach coordinator Taki Smith and P.E. teacher Rebecca Vaught came together as throngs of students pounded the pavement to school.

"Awareness," Smith said. "Just getting kids up and moving, parent involvement, community involvement."

"It's just the health benefits that comes along with this," Vaught said. "It gets the kids fresh air. It gets them brain power and boosted and ready for school."

Dozens of students and parents braved the wet and chilly weather in order to get their walk in and Vaught tells me the number of students who walked to school was record breaking.

"On a normal day [like] a cold, wet drizzly day like this, [we have] between five and six kids," Vaught said. "Today, we averaged about 100 kids is about what I'm guessing."

Greenbriar recently partnered with Safe Routes and Smith tells me there are a lot of incentives for schools to partner up, including free resources.

"The stickers, the bookmarks and the blinky lights," Smith explained. "And we do travel plans for school partners and that's just a comprehensive plan that just helps them route out safer routes for the kids to get to school."

Vaught said now, she's working to bring more walking into student activities.

"Just today has proven that it can be done and it's possible, that these kids are wanting to do this and are willing to do this," she said. "So, I'm anxious to see in the future about what's going to happen and when we involved it into our P.E. program and the walking programs."

And there are also benefits for schools who aren't that walk-friendly.

To learn how to partner up with Safe Routes Georgia or Safe Routes South Carolina, just click on the attached links.

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