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Mesa students walk to school as part of International Walk to School Day

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A crossing guard working his first day of the 2017-18 school year at Wilson Elementary School on Aug. 9. (Tim Hacker/Mesa Public Schools)

This month schools, cities, volunteer groups, public health and law enforcement agencies and parents alike are organizing Walk to School Day events to celebrate the benefits of choosing student-powered transportation.

In Mesa, 10 elementary schools, in conjunction with the Mesa Police Department and Mesa Transportation Department will join schools from around the world tomorrow, Oct. 4, to celebrate International Walk to School Day.

Approximately 5,000 Mesa students from Sousa, Crismon, Hermosa Vista, Lowell, Longfellow and Lincoln Elementary will be invited to join together to celebrate safe, active transportation. Schools will deliver pedestrian education for both students and parents, through assemblies, newsletters, PE classes, and announcements prior to their event.

Participation in the annual event grows every year with more than 2,500 schools across 49 states participating in the festivities.

“Bringing pedestrian safety to an individual school empowers the students to truly take ownership of their safe route to school and feel confident in their travel to and from their home. The program continues to expand into new Mesa schools each year,” Mesa Transportation Safety Educator Ashley Barinka said.

The idea is to walk to school together with a purpose — to promote health, safety, physical activity, aid in the reduction of traffic congestion during the drop off and pick up at a school and concern for the environment. Pedestrian and bicycle safety messages are also provided to children.

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