RALEIGH — Powell Elementary School students took to the streets – or at least the sidewalks – as part of Walk to School Day on Wednesday.
Nearly 40 students paraded a little more than half a mile from a shopping center parking lot to their school, accompanied by parents, younger siblings in strollers, two city police officers and an assortment of family dogs.
Shelby Powell, the mother of a first-grader and the PTA’s Health and Wellness chairwoman, said the day highlights pedestrian safety and healthy habits.
“I’m 100 percent in favor of kids getting outside and getting fresh air and exercise,” she said.
In 2012, more than 4,200 Walk to School events were held in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. More than a dozen schools in Wake County had events planned for last week.
Before their walk, the Powell students decorated hats with monster accessories in a nod to “The Monster Health Book” by Edward Miller.
The book, which features lessons on healthy lifestyles, will be incorporated into class activities and school performances throughout the year as part of the “One Book, One School, One Community ” project.
The hats were a big draw for Jayden Rhoades-Brown, a third-grader at Powell. But he was a fan of the walk, too, since it meant hanging out with his friends before the school day started.
“We get to walk to school with anyone we want,” he said.
Brandi Brown, his mother, said the family lives too far away to walk to school every day, which made Walk to School Day a great chance to emphasize the importance of walking.
“They get to think about other ways of getting around, other than always being in the car,” she said.