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The Times
  • Little Falls students to celebrate Walk to School Day

  • Thousands of students, parents and communities representing more than 3,300 schools across the United States will walk and bicycle to school today to celebrate International Walk to School Day. The one-day event is part of an international effort to encourage families to get out of their cars and on to their feet to enjoy ...
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  • Thousands of students, parents and communities representing more than 3,300 schools across the United States will walk and bicycle to school today to celebrate International Walk to School Day. The one-day event is part of an international effort to encourage families to get out of their cars and on to their feet to enjoy the benefits of walking and bicycling to school.
    Students at Little Falls Middle School will join the effort on Thursday and will combine their walk with the anti-bullying campaign Rachel’s Challenge, designed to help students increase positive behaviors, eliminate prejudice and be inspired to take action locally in their schools and communities.
    Rachel’s Challenge is the story of Rachel Scott, the first student killed at Columbine High School.
    “We will begin our chain reaction of kindness during the walk,” said Little Falls Middle School teacher and walk organizer Teresa Lee in an email. “We will all try to wear blue, the color chosen for anti-bullying week, which happens to be the same week as International Walk to School week.”
    The Little Falls walk will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Burke Park. The rain date will be Friday, Oct. 5.
    Walk to School Day was founded in 1997 as a way to bring community leaders and children together to build awareness of the need for communities to be more walkable. By 2002, children, parents, teachers and community leaders in all 50 states and the District of Columbia joined nearly 3 million walkers around the world to celebrate the second annual International Walk to School Day. In 2011, students and parents from more than 4,000 U.S. schools joined millions of Walk to School Day and Month participants worldwide. The one-day event has grown to a month-long celebration.
    “Walk to School Day continues to inspire community-grown events that celebrate health, safety and a sense of community,” said Lauren Marchetti, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School, which serves as the coordinating agency for the event, in a news release. “Often, this one-day event becomes the catalyst to larger commitments and permanent improvements that make walking and bicycling to school safer transportation options year round.”
    “Every child should have the opportunity to walk to school safely,” said U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari in a news release. “Walk to School Day encourages children to experience walk-friendly environments and affirms the importance of walking and biking for a new generation.”
    Walk to School events will take place nationwide today and throughout the month of October. To view the names and locations of registered schools participating in Walk to School Day 2012, visit www.walktoschool.org/who/index.cfm. For more information about Walk to School Day, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org.
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