Thousands of students across Michigan will take part in “Walk to School Day” on Wednesday, with around 200 schools set to participate. The event is a joint project organized by the Michigan Fitness Foundation and the Safe Routes to School Program. The program works to provide children with safe and convenient routes to school to encourage them to start their day with physical activity.
Katie Alexander is the director of the Safe Routes program. She said the benefits of kids getting morning exercise carry over into the classroom.
“I think there are a lot of positives when it comes to walking and biking to school,” she said, “it just has a great impact on you know, ability to learn, so if you’re moving a little bit before you go to school, you kind of get what we call “the wiggles” out, so you’re less fidgety when you get to school, you're a little more ready to learn.”
Alexander said events like Walk to School Day are useful in getting kids excited about physical activity, as well as starting community conversations about how to make walking to school more accessible for students. The Safe Route program also helps schools and communities improve their infrastructure to make kids’ walks to school easier, safer, and more convenient.