It began as an idea In 1997, the Partnership for a Walkable America sponsored the first National Walk Our Children to School Day in Chicago, modeled after the United Kingdom’s lead. Back then, it was simply a day to bring community leaders and children together to create awareness of the need for communities to be walkable.

It evolved into a movement By the year 2002, children, parents, teachers and community leaders in all 50 states joined nearly 3 million walkers around the world to celebrate the second annual International Walk to School Day. The reasons for walking grew just as quickly as the event itself.

Whether your concern is safer and improved streets, healthier habits, or cleaner air, Walk to School Day events are aimed at bringing forth permanent change to encourage a more walkable America — one community at a time.

Now it’s a priority In 2005, new legislation recognized the value of Safe Routes to School programs and is providing funding for States to establish programs. Politicians and other government officials are paying attention to the importance of safe walking and biking to school. Obesity, concern for the environment and the effects of urban sprawl on communities has led to the joining of efforts among those that care about these and other related issues like school siting and traffic congestion.

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