Knox Co. students take part in International Walk to School Day

Knox County students take part in International Walk to School Day

Posted:
More than 6,000 Knox County students pounded the pavement Wednesday morning as part of International Walk to School Day. More than 6,000 Knox County students pounded the pavement Wednesday morning as part of International Walk to School Day.
"It's a great opportunity to spend some quality time with their child in the morning, to walk them to school and greet their teacher and to get them started on a great day," said Knox County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Alves. "It's a great opportunity to spend some quality time with their child in the morning, to walk them to school and greet their teacher and to get them started on a great day," said Knox County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Alves.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Drivers may have noticed slightly less traffic in Knox County school zones Wednesday morning, as thousands of local students and their parents gave up their cars, deciding to go on foot instead.

It was all part of International Walk to School Day.

The trek is about making kids safer and healthier one step at a time.

More than 6,000 Knox County students pounded the pavement Wednesday morning, hoofing it to class with their parents alongside.

"We have about 25 of our schools that are participating," said Knox County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Alves, as she took part in the walk with students headed to West Hills Elementary in Knoxville.  "It's a great opportunity to be out here on a wonderful fall morning."

Knox County schools partnered with the Knoxville Regional Planning Transportation Organization Safe Routes to School Coalition for the event, encouraging as many students to participate as possible.

"The schools are the heart of our community and many of our families live right in the neighborhoods where their schools are located," said Alves.

The Coalition says right now, only about 15 percent of students walk to school.

They say the high number of car riders nowadays causes major traffic congestion around local schools, and that traffic danger keeps even more parents from letting their kids walk.

Safe Routes is hoping to change that. They work to create safer street crossings for kids through federal transportation funding, as well as establishing programs in local schools that encourage children and their parents to walk.

"It's a great opportunity to spend some quality time with their child in the morning, to walk them to school and greet their teacher and to get them started on a great day," said Alves.

Safe Routes says International Walk to School Day helps to show the community that walking to school can be a safe, routine activity.

"To learn those safe routes to school and to teach our children safe habits," said Alves.

Safe Routes says walking to school also has health benefits for the kids as well, getting them some exercise first thing in the morning.

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