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Walk to School Day

Heart of the Lakes Elementary School Principal, Jen Hendrickson, walks with students on International Walk to School Day October 4 along the Cal Miller Bike route. (Kim Brasel / Perham Focus).1 / 5
Volunteers walked with students on International Walk to School Day last week. (Kim Brasel / Perham Focus).2 / 5
Jack Fischer, Lily Johnson, and Ashlyn Fischer carry the banner for International Walk to School Day. (Kim Brasel / Perham Focus).3 / 5
Perham students participated in International Walk to School Day on October 4, trekking down Coney Street and along the Cal Miller bike route. (Kim Brasel / Perham Focus).4 / 5
Volunteers walked with students along the route during International Walk to School Day on October 4th. (Kim Brasel / Perham Focus).5 / 5

Streams of students made their way down the sidewalk on Coney street and along the Cal Miller Bike Route yesterday for International Walk to School Day as kids in all grades participated for the eighth year in Perham.

Physical Education teacher, Jim Kennedy, said taking part in the program is a great way to make students more aware of the benefits of walking to school and it helps with school performance.

"Children who walk to school have been found to have higher academic performance, in terms of focus, alertness, lower levels of stress, and higher levels of happiness and excitement," Kennedy said. "Additionally, students get to enjoy more time with their friends walking and talking."

He added that feedback from the students is mostly positive, with many saying that they enjoy getting fresh air in the morning, walking to school, and being able to visit with friends along the way.

According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School web site, Walk to School Day began in 1997. Two decades later, over 60,000 events have been held across the country.

Established in 2006, The National Center for Safe Routes to School helps communities make walking and bicycling to school a safe, appealing, preferred choice for families. Its role includes national coordination and technical assistance for U.S. Walk to School Day and Bike to School Day, and providing tools, training, research and evaluation for safe walking and bicycling for children and youth.

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