Put on your shoes and get walking to school in October

When: October 3

What: The emphasis on exercise has never been more prevalent than it is these days. People are encouraged to take care of their bodies, eat well, work out and be in shape. Oftentimes, children get overlooked in that equation. This October, encourage children’s fitness with Walk to School Day.

Background: Walk to School Day is sponsored by the Partnership for a Walkable America and was first celebrated in 1997 as a way to encourage more walkable communities. In 2000, the event went international when the United Kingdom and Canada joined with the United States in the first International Walk to School Day. During the month of October, children are encouraged to dust off their comfy sneakers and walk to school.

Story Pitch: Many companies and organizations can take advantage of this event. Local police and safety agencies will want to encourage safe routes and safety precautions for children walking to school. Schools may also use this time to promote the importance of physical activity. They can teach children about the need for physical fitness and why it is important to get out and move. Footwear manufacturers may also want to focus on feet and how to properly protect them when walking or doing physical exercise. Meanwhile, clothing retailers can also get in on this event by promoting the proper gear for inclement weather.

Story Hook: According to the Centers for Disease Control, regular physical activity can build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, as well as control weight and reduce fat. Walking and physical exercise has never been more important to the body. Consider the following when making your pitch:

  • How can children stay safe as they walk to school?
  • What are some ways that children can protect their feet and legs as they get more active and fit?
  • How much physical exercise is recommended each day for children?
  • What are some ways to encourage children to get walking in their community?
  • If the school is too far away for walking, what are some other ways to get children moving?

Tips: A podiatrist can share good tips on walking while protecting your feet. They can also recommend some safety procedures for those who are just getting into walking. In addition, a family who walks to school every day may provide great insight on how to stay safe while walking.

American Heart Association
(800) 242-8721
www.heart.org

Centers for Disease Control
(800) 232-4636
cdcinfo(at)cdc.gov
www.cdc.gov

National Center for Safe Routes to School
(866) 610-7787
www.saferoutesinfo.org

Surface Transportation Policy Partnership
(202) 466-2363
stpp(at)transact.org
www.transact.org

–Researched, compiled & written by Kimberly Cooper
Event Dates  from CHASE’S Calendar of Events

Kimberly Cooper

Kim Cooper regularly contributes to the Pitch an Event feature for inVocus and occasionally writes original articles. Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Temple University in Philadelphia, where she focused on magazine journalism. She joined Vocus in 2009 and currently serves as a senior media researcher for the newspaper team.

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