October is Walk to School Month and beginning on Wednesday, students at more than 30 schools across the state will be participating in Walk to School Day, an effort to get children to exercise more and by making strides to help the environment.

The Missouri Department of Transportation encourages parents and communities to help children establish good walking or cycling habits. Program Coordinator, Jeff Cremer says, it has become a popular annual event for students. “We encourage children, and parents and community leaders to get out and not just drive to school, or ride the school bus to school, but to get out and plan routes that are safe and walk to school to get some exercise,” he says.

Cremer also says it’s a great way to help the environment by reducing traffic and gas emissions from cars: “So anytime we’ve had a larger group of students particularly within that one mile radius of the school who can walk instead of riding in an individual car- a lot of school busses don’t operate inside that one mile radius, we can really measurably reduce the amount of traffic near that school and the congestion which reduces the amount of air pollutants that go into the air.” He says less air pollutants could help reduce the risk of asthma and other airborne pollutant diseases in children.

To find out more information, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org.


AUDIO: Mary Farucci reports (1:10)