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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Walk To School Day…

It was the official Walk To School Day today in Alexandria, Virginia. What that means is Dryver and I left about 15 minutes earlier to walk to his Kindergarten down the block from our house.

Well, it is only about two blocks away, so Jennifer wonders why I don’t walk with him everyday. The main reason is because the school starts so early, that by the time he is up and dressed, and had breakfast, around 7:30 am or so, we don’t have much time to walk (or even run).

It was really nice outside this morning, a typical early fall morning in DC. The weather was perfect for a light coat or long sleeve shirt. It was really nice to walk with Dryver and talk about things (though he was playing his L-Max about half of the walk.) But we were able to check out the neighborhood and see his classmates. I decided about half way to his school that Walk To School Day is a cool and fun idea.

But what is Walk To School Day? Officially, today was The International Walk To School Day, which was started in 1997. It was actually started in Chicago, but modeled after the UK (just like most of our Television and game shows.) Back in 1997 it was intended to just be a day to bring the community leaders out to raise awareness of the need to make communities walkable. There is more information at the organization website.

Now the day is about safe streets, healthy habits, and cleaner air. In 2005, new legislation recognized the value of Safe Routes to School programs and is providing funding for States to establish programs. Our local politicians in Alexandria are paying attention to the importance of safe walking and biking to school.

Concerns over child obesity rates, the environment and the effects of urban sprawl on Alexandria and neighboring cities (aka traffic congestion) has led to Alexandria taking a real close look at the issues. Today was a day to recognize and show support for these causes.

So it is a good cause, and there seems to be a lot of interest in making Alexandria an even better place to live. When Dryver and I got to school, Dryver said hi to the Mayor (left photo) and I spoke to some of the City Council and School Board that I knew. It was a good day for a walk anyway. Dryver got a sticker and headed into his classroom.

I headed back home (walking of course), as I needed to prepare to take Stryde to Pre-School at 8:45 or so. When I was about a block from my home, I decided that I would drive Stryde. I figured each of us should equally contribute to this cause, and I didn't want to use up too much of the spotlight.

Actually, I do think walking with Dryver was an extra 10-minutes with him that I normally don't get. I need to walk with both Dryver and Stryde to school more often. At least until Winter shows-up.

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