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Walking to School

April 17, 2009

Today was “Walk to School” day at Soccer Girl’s school.  The whole event came from a 2nd grade girl’s science project.  She counted cars that dropped off at school one morning and found there were almost 150.  She wondered if we could cut that number in half by encouraging kids to walk to school, or take the bus if you are eligible to do so (you have to be 1/4 mile from the school).   I think this is a great idea – anything to get outside and enjoy a beautiful day, while being good to the environment is a cool thing.

While SG is bus eligible, she loved the idea of walking to school.  Something about getting outside, doing something independent, participating in a school event – not sure what the appeal was, but she was all over it.  I have spin class on Friday mornings, but her enthusiasm was too much to ignore, so I agreed to take her, her giant backpack (I think she packed a small orangutan in there, it was so full) , and her violin on the hike to the elementary school.

Net net, it was a 450 calorie burn, just about 100 calories less than a spin session (but in a shorter time).  I was able to let go of my “MUST SPIN” neuroses and shake up my routine a bit, which is always a good thing.  The weather was just perfect, with cool breezes and bright sun.  We had a good chat while on the road, which as any parent knows is worth it’s weight in gold.

According to the girl who’s doing the science fair project, she’s hoping “Walk to School” becomes a monthly event.  I second that – I look forward to making the trek with SG again soon.  She’s leaving elementary school this year, so at some point in the not-so-distant-future, she WON’T want me to walk with her. I really need to take advantage of these fleeting moments of childhood while I can.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2009 11:45 am

    I live about two blocks from our elementary school, and I am stunned at the amount of vehicles that idle outside my home waiting to pick up their children – most of which live on the SAME STREET or in the SAME NEIGHBORHOOD.

    My children start walking to school alone at the age of 5. I won’t even take them in the rain – by the time I back out of the driveway and sit in line, they could’ve been to school.

    I don’t understand the need to drive a child 1/4 of a mile to school. If it’s fear, that’s ridiculous, since our world is amazingly safe and no one is lurking in the bushes to abduct them. If it’s laziness, well, there’s not much I can preach about that one. I’m just glad my kids get out every day to make that nice walk to class!

  2. April 17, 2009 12:16 pm

    Little Hoff was stoked about this as well. Amazing how our lives are so ruled by technology and so-called “convenience” that something as simple as walking to school can become an event for our children to look forward to. We truly are becoming the bulbous glob people in Wall-E.

  3. April 17, 2009 1:03 pm

    I think it’s funny that you wrote this on the morning I left my wallet at home and only realized it when I arrived at the BART station. I power walked back home and then power walked back to the BART station turning my 45 min commute to an hour and a half. I was a piss about it, but I suppose I should look at it as doing myself and the ozone a favor (and an extra mile or so on top of my 3 mile morning run.) 🙂

  4. Jeanenne permalink
    April 17, 2009 1:28 pm

    First of all, what do you mean she’s leaving elementary school this year? She can’t be headed for middle school already??!! Time goes by too quickly.

    We live just under a mile from my 1st grader’s school. We have an annual walk to school day, too, (in fact, it’s next Friday) but we walk as often as we can. The reality is, however, unless it’s a work at home day for me, I need to drive and drop him off as the first of many stops on my commute to work. Even though we’re close to the school, there’s just not enough time to get everyone where they need to be most mornings.

    I love our walking days, though. We have a few minutes to talk about what’s going on that day or to practice spelling words or math facts. I find that when we walk, he’s more awake, alert, and ready for the day… and so am I.

  5. Emilie permalink
    April 20, 2009 8:11 pm

    They did a thing at one of the elementary schools here this fall and made it a contest where the kids tracked how many days in a month they walked to/from school. I think the winners got a special breakfast with the principal – in case you want to pitch the idea…

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