Aiken schools participate in International Walk to School Day

By: Hope Jensen Email
By: Hope Jensen Email

News 12 This Morning/ Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

AIKEN, S.C. -- It is International Walk and Bike to School Day. Across the country, students walked together to school and two right here in our area participated.

North Aiken Elementary and Aiken Middle School gathered at Crosland park around 7 a.m. Wednesday and walked the 30 minutes to school.

Across the nation, it was all about promoting a healthy lifestyle.

"It's a national campaign to improve the physical fitness of our students," said John Bradley, principal of Aiken Middle School.

One day every year schools across the nation walk and bike to school.

"Students are not active enough," Bradley said. "I remember growing up we were outside all the time. Today a lot of our students spend more time on video games, television."

"We just want to increase the activity level that our children have in their lives," added Sarah Martin, school nurse at North Aiken Elementary.

They do it to promote a healthy lifestyle but also safety.

"We have a lot of issues that prevent activity for children in this day and age," Martin said. "You just don't want your child roaming the neighborhood. When it was a generation back, you felt much safer with that possibly."

"It's a time we can all get together and support our children and showing them safety as far as coming to school or ride their bikes, the importance of being safe to and from school," said North Aiken Elementary Principal Rhonda Ray.

This is the seventh year Aiken Middle and North Aiken Elementary are participating.

"Just a daily walking thing of 30 minutes will get you to a much better improved level of health," Martin said.

Student Jazmine Carter has participated in Walk to School Day every year.

"It's fun," she said. "Sometimes it's fun to talk to your friends and see who's all there and see some of the teachers."

They say they know its unrealistic for many students in the county to walk to school on a daily basis.

"We have students that come here from the other side of I-20 all the way out to the other side of the state park. We have students that are 26 miles away from school," Bradley said.

But they are hoping it sends a message.

"It's not necessarily just to promote waking to school," he said. "We do call it that big event, but it's to promote walking and physical fitness with all of our students everywhere."

It is sponsored by Safe Kids. This is not the only Walk to School Day for these children. South Carolina hosts its own in the spring. They say its something students, parents and the community really enjoy.

Around 200 people participated Wednesday.

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