A mom and 2 small kids walking to school on a fall day.Dearborn Public Schools is encouraging students and parents to celebrate the 22nd annual Walk to School Day on Oct. 10 by leaving their vehicles at home.

Walking to school is healthier for students and parents, reduces traffic congestion around schools, saves families money on gas, and helps the environment by reducing air emissions.

Encouraging walking to school is especially important in Dearborn. Almost all of the district’s 34 schools were designed and located with the expectation that most students would walk to class. More families opting to drive students has led to heavy traffic congestion and increased safety concerns around many of our buildings.

Some schools are planning special activities around Walk to School Day including Salina Elementary, Salina Intermediate, Oakman Elementary, William Ford Elementary, Long Elementary and Snow Elementary.

Both Salina schools are teaming up with Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities (LAHC) to encourage walking to school as a way to increase physical activity. Walkers will be greeted by community members, teachers and others for a presentation on the benefits of walking.

At Oakman Elementary, the Ecology Club is promoting Walk to School, including handing out healthy treats for the students who participate by walking or biking to school. Participating students will also be entered in a drawing to win one of three bike helmets.

For LAHC, Walk to School ties in beautifully with the group’s Healthy Living Program, said Program Manager Marci Mahssney.

“As part of its Healthy Living Program, LAHC is always looking for ways to have a positive impact on the health of our students and the community outside the classroom,” Mahssney said in a message encouraging families to participate in Walk to School Day.

“Students and parents are encouraged to get in more steps and physical activity through this awareness event. We would like to invite you to walk with us and promote a more walkable world!”

For more information on Walk to School Day, visit http://www.walkbiketoschool.org.

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