Local schools embrace students walking to stay healthy

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News 12 This Morning/Monday Oct. 7, 2013

(WRDW)--In just a couple of days, every student at Lewiston Elementary School will be getting out of their seats--and putting their feet to the pavement.

"Yay, walk to school day!" Madylyn Morgan exclaimed.

Madylyn, a 5th grader at Lewiston, says she and her peers have been looking forward to Walk to School Day since the start of the school year.

"I'm excited to walk through the neighborhood behind my school," she said. "We're going to learn how to walk the correct way and how to cross the streets correctly."

The school is partnering with Georgia Safe Routes to School for National Walk to School Day.

PE teachers Anne Tucker and Ryan Morningstar say it's a day of focusing on students walking for health and learning how to walk safely.

"We're going to have the Columbia County Sheriff's Department come in and partner with that and talk about some neighborhood safety," said Morningstar.

"Walking is a life skill, you know," said Tucker. "It's something that they can do for the rest of their life and so it's an important skill to learn, along with the safety habits."

In the last thirty years, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children according to the CDC, which is why Morningstar and Tucker say hosting activities like 'Walk to School Day' is so important.

"Anything to involve the community and expose the kids to new and different things is just great," Tucker explained. "That's what we're here for."

"Talking about the right way to eat and be active is very important," said Morningstar. "The school day's just not long enough for us to have the activities to get them the fitness that they need so if we can promote it anyway, that's our goal."

It's a goal both Tucker and Morningstar seem to be reaching.

"I play outside for an hour a day," said Madylyn. "I like to jump on my trampoline."

Here's a list of other schools participating in Walk to School Day in our area:

- River Ridge Elementary in Evans, Ga
- Freedom Park at Fort Gordon
- A. Brian Merry Elementary in Augusta, Ga

And it's not too late for your school or neighborhood to get involved with Walk to School Day. Click the link below for more information on how to organize your own Walk to School Day.

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