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Press Release

Local school children, parents and community leaders to participate in International Walk to School Day on October 9, 2003

Nine local Ohio County Schools are participating in the first Ohio County Walk to School Day on Thursday, October, 9. A press conference to announce the event will be held at the Ohio County Board of Education Office (National Road) on Wednesday, October 8 at 10:00AM.

Our community will be joining schools from around the world to celebrate Walk to School Day. Now in its seventh year, Walk to School Day is expected to include 3,000 schools from all 50 states. The idea is to walk to school together with a purpose - to promote health, safety, physical activity and concern for the environment. Walkers from the U.S. will be joined by at least 32 countries from around the world.

It is anticipated that approximately 330 students from Bridge Street Middle, Madison Elementary, Ritchie Elementary, Warwood, Wheeling Middle, Woodsdale Elementary, Mount de Chantal Academy, St. Vincent de Paul Parish, and Corpus Christi schools will be walking to school. Kids, parents and community leaders will walk together to promote increased physical activities for the students in Ohio County.

The local event is being promoted by these partners.

Walk to School Day started as a simple idea: a day to bring children, parents, school and local officials together to make a community more walkable. It is an energizing event, reminding everyone of the simple joy of walking to school, the health benefits of regular daily activity, and the need for safe places to walk and bike. Ohio County schools will focus on health and fitness for our students and their families.

One day isn't enough. Organizers realize students need physical activity every day. The press conference and actual "Walk to School Day" is designed to energize and inform the community of the benefits of families walking and exercising together.

"Walk to School Day" can lead to the kinds of permanent changes that make the community better for everyone. Better sidewalks, safer street crossings, and improved driver and pedestrian behavior can benefit everyone, young and old.

In 1997, the Partnership for a Walkable America established Walk to School Day in the United States. The Partnership for a Walkable America is an alliance of organizations and agencies that have joined together to make America a better place for walking, so that society can reap the associated benefits of personal and environmental health, security and community. Organizations involved in this year's event include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, National SAFE KIDS Campaign, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Transportation and many others. For more information about Partnership for a Walkable America, visit www.walkableamerica.org.

To learn more about National Walk to School Day, visit the official website at www.walktoschool-usa.org. The website, created and hosted by Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center at UNC's Highway Safety Research Center in Chapel Hill, includes resources such as health information, specifics on walk events and a downloadable checklist to help determine how friendly a community is for walking.

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