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CNY schools celebrate ‘Walk to School Day’ by promoting healthy lifestyles

Minoa Elementary School fifth graders walk down Helfer Lane as a part of the school's 25 minute morning walk.

Minoa Elementary School fifth graders walk down Helfer Lane as a part of the school's 25 minute morning walk.

— “I like to encourage the fact that yes, my kids can get the school bus at the end of our driveway, but when the weather’s nice, we should take advantage of the ability to walk to school,” said Annette Matthews, chairperson of the Walk to School committee in Skaneateles. “We’re also trying to help the kids to realize that when they get to middle school, they’ll have to walk because the buses will not pick up students who live within a mile of the school.”

This is the fourth year that Skaneateles has participated in Walk to School Day. On Oct. 9, students at both elementary schools were encouraged to walk if they live close enough. Students who live farther away had the option of being dropped off at one of two parking lots deemed “walking school buses.” Parent leaders met the students at those locations and led the group on the walk to school.

“After last Walk to School Day, we saw more kids walking,” Matthews said. “And I hope that in April, when we encourage bus use, we’ll see less parents dropping off their kids.”

Across Central New York, kids and staff members agreed that Walk to School Day is something they look forward to each year.

“It’s just a really nice way to start the day,” said Kirkman. “If I could start every day with the school community going out and walking the short distance that we go, it would be a great way to begin each school day. It’s energizing and the community is happy to be outside together and walking. It’s really a pleasure.”

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