Nation marks Walk to School Day
Wednesday is Walk to School Day, an idea being promoted as a way to not only help keep students healthy but also improve the environment.
Organizers says the percentage of students walking or bicycling to school in the United States has dropped from 41 percent in 1969 to 13 percent in 2001. Obesity among children, meanwhile, increased from 6.5 percent in 1980 to 19.6 percent in 2008.
Proponents say walking and bicycling are healthy physical activities that stimulate brain development while reducing pollution and roadway congestion.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett are joining other state and local to mark the day at East Silver Spring Elementary School. A group planned to walk from the SIlver Spring Police Station to the school, where a program celebrating the day was scheduled to start at 9:30.
Organizers say thousands of people representing more than 3,200 schools planned to participate in events across the country.
-- Staff and wire reports