SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – South Plainfield students and their parents took to the pavement Wednesday morning and headed to school on foot and on bikes and even scooters in support of the Partnership for a Walkable America’s Walk to School Day 2017.

According to www.walkbiketoschool.org, the goal of Walk to School Day is to raise awareness of the benefits that regularly walking or biking to school have on the community, one’s health, and the environment. The initiative also serves as a means of reminding parents and children of the simple joy of walking to school and increasing awareness about the need for safer walking routes for children.

“It was a nice crisp and sunny day for our South Plainfield Walk to School Day,” said Ralph Errico, principal of Franklin Elementary School. “At Franklin School, about 90-percent of our students walk to school. It's a great way to get some exercise, make new friends from a different neighborhood, get some fresh fall air, and, above all, walking in groups is safe.”

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The first National Walk to School Day was held in 1997 as a one-day event aimed at building awareness for the need for walkable communities. Previously called Walk Our Children to School Day, the initiative, in 2000, turned international with the UK and Canada and the USA joining together. Today, thousands of schools across America take part in the awareness event each year on the first Wednesday of the first full week in October. On a local front, the initiative is sponsored by the Mayor's Wellness Committee in conjunction with the South Plainfield Borough Council, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Noreen Lishak, and the South Plainfield Board of Education.

At Grant School, physical education teachers Elena Buccino and Maureen Barnett ride their bikes to school on a daily basis and, on Oct. 4, the school's bike rack was full while at Franklin, Kennedy, Riley, and Roosevelt families allotted themselves extra time to make the morning walk.

"Today was a perfect day to walk or bike to school because the weather was fantastic,” said Kennedy Principal Kevin Hajduk, adding, “This event benefited over a hundred students who walked and biked to school with their parents today. The extra exercise and fresh air improved their school day."

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