MOUNT VERNON — Today is National Walk to School Day, an event that was first organized by the Partnership for a Walkable America in 1997 as a way to build awareness for the need for walkable communities.
Federal legislation in 2005 established a National Safe Routes to School Program, and Mount Vernon and Fredericktown have been recipients of Safe Routes grants.
“We definitely have walkers every day,” said Mount Vernon Superintendent Steve Short, “and the Safe Routes fund and donated money has helped make it easier and safer especially along Mount Vernon Avenue and Division Street.”
Short said there are several reasons walking to school is a good idea. As a culture, he said, our pace of life is fast and often hectic: Walking is a way to slow down a little and enjoy the sights along the way. Walking is also a way for students to get physical exercise, Short said, and especially for elementary students it can be good family time as parents walk their children to and/or from school. It can be a time to discuss activities and just chat without the usual distractions.
Most of the elementary schools have safety patrols to assist children at intersections near the buildings, and pupils need to make sure they follow the crossing guards’ instructions.
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