UPDATE: Walking to school can be fun but it can also be a little dangerous, it's why school officials are reminding kids about best practices when leaving their homes. This week, students throughout Tennessee will join families around the world for "International Walk to School Day." This is a global event to encourage safe routes to school all year long.

"We're car riders but this is an exciting day because it's going to be a different scene for her and she'll get to see different things in the community as a walker," said Mary-Catherine McConnell, parent.

About one hundred students joined in on an organized event to create safe ways to school. It's something McConnell teaches her daughter even though they normally don't walk to school.

"We're moving forward to the school, not to get distracted with things and never talk to stranger and never get into a vehicle they don't know," she explained.

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Doctors recommend at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

"Not only is physical activity good for your health and just being a happy member of the community it does wonders for your brain when you're in school and learning," said Jeff Paulson, Principal, Thrasher Elementary School.

Students are learning the basic rules of sharing the roads, this means staying focused and making sure drivers can see you.

SafeKids.Org says each year about 200,000 children 15-years-old and younger were injured in motor vehicles crashes, many of them could have been prevented.

"Oh my goodness, if I could just tell every driver in the world just to slow it down a little bit and be extra mindful. Nobody wants to have that news story where somebody gets hurt while walking to school," Paulson said.

International Walk to School Day, continues actually all week, there are 10 other locations all week.

In Cleveland, Arnold Memorial Elementary School will participate this Friday. Students and parents will meet at deer park at 7:30 a.m. There will be adults there for safety, including the school resource officer.


PREVIOUS STORY: From October 1 through October 5,  parents, teachers, community leaders, and students across the Tennessee Valley will participate in scheduled "International Walk to School Day" events.

Walk to school events raise awareness of the need to create safe routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, and creating connections between families, schools, and the broader community.

These events have been organized by the individual schools in cooperation with local and regional organizations.  Representatives from the following organizations will walk with the students:

  • Bike Walk Chattanooga
  • Bike Walk Cleveland
  • Chattanooga Department of Transportation
  • Chattanooga Fire Department
  • Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department
  • Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency & Transportation Planning Organization
  • Chattanooga Police Department
  • Hamilton County Department of Education
  • Mid-Cumberland Region Safety Initiative for Bicyclists and Pedestrians
  • Outdoor Chattanooga
  • Tennessee Department of Health

In Cleveland, Arnold Memorial Elementary School is participating on Friday, October 5, 2018.  Students and parents will meet at Deer Park on Friday at 7:30 a.m. to walk to school.