• Today is Walk to School Day
    By BRENDAN McKENNA Herald Staff | October 05,2005
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    Seeing students walking to school is nothing special in Rutland and other larger communities around the state.

    However, today they will be symbolically joined by the governor and more than 3,000 other students taking part in Walk to School Day.

    The day's goal is to promote health, safety, physical activity and concern for the environment.

    The event is part of Gov. James Douglas' Fit and Healthy Kids Initiative, a comprehensive approach to promote healthy eating and increased physical activity among children and families. Walk to School Day is now in its ninth year nationwide and parents and community leaders from approximately 3,500 schools in all 50 states will participate

    Leading the charge in Rutland County is the Fair Haven Grade School, where school officials expect virtually all of the school's 386 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade to walk to school today.

    Estimates from Douglas' office expected about 410 walkers, including many of the school's roughly 100 faculty members, to take part in the event.

    School nurse Eileen Munger said the school has taken part in Walk to School day for several years, using it to kick off their own school walking program.

    "Physical activity is an absolute must for everybody," she said. "Especially for kids nowadays who have so many sit-down activities. It's a good time to get out and about."

    More than 3,300 walkers in Vermont, from Brattleboro to Burlington, have registered with the Vermont Agency of Transportation to take part in the Walk to School Day, including 200 from Hartland Elementary School, 150 from Bennington Elementary School, 100 from the Putney Central School, 100 from the State Street School in Windsor, 100 from Fisher Elementary in Arlington, and 50 from Brattleboro Union High School.

    "Our kids continue to make healthier choices over all, and walking to school is a great way to jump-start the day," Douglas said in a statement. "We must continue to promote opportunities for kids to experience the wellbeing that comes with physical activity. Walk to School Day is one positive way to get that message across."

    Douglas is scheduled to meet students, parents and teachers at the Hinesburg Post Office and lead the group to the Hinesburg Community School.

    Contact Brendan McKenna at brendan.mckenna@rutlandherald.com.
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