Promoting safety, fitness by walking to school

Wednesday, October 8th 2008, 5:17 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Students across the metro walked to school with a purpose Wednesday morning. They walked not only for the fitness, but to bring awareness to the need for more sidewalks.

This statewide effort hits close to home for students of Western Village Academy. Students who walk to school are put in danger because of the lack of sidewalks.

The second annual Walk To School Day was something many students were looking forward to.

"This is like my first time to do this," student Destinee McKinley said.

McKinley isn't allowed to walk to school because it's not safe. On Walk To School Day, like many students across the country, she was surrounded by classmates and adults.

"At least we have police around us so we can be safe," McKinley said.

The group walked to encourage physical activity, and to send city and state leaders a message.
Western Village Academy is like dozens of other metro schools. It's on a busy street with no sidewalks.

"A lot of kids would probably walk to school more often if we had more sidewalks," Western Village Charter School Principal Peggy Brinson said.

School staff is taking steps to make that happen.

"We have applied, Integris and the school have applied for a grant, a ‘Safe Routes to School' grant through the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to put in sidewalks," school nurse Susan Ward said.

The grant money can also be used to install traffic calming devices, bicycle lanes, and make improvements to cross walks.