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Walking to school provides healthful benefits
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A Walking School Bus is where kids walk to school with an adult volunteer, and Riley School and USD 431 Hoisington received grants for Walking School buses.
While it once was ordinary for kids to walk or ride a bike to school,  it is now not so common.
And so to encourage walking, USD 431 and Riley have adult volunteers who are walking to school with the children for a time, hoping to encourage healthy habits.
The kids are arriving at school wide awake and ready for learning. Also, they’ve had some time to socialize with friends.
Kids walking to school is a good idea, and should continue after the schools end the Walking School Bus, which is grant funded.
Today 17 percent of kids are obese. This means about one in five children today have associated health risks from being too heavy. And like their own weight, parents are in denial that their children are carrying around those extra pounds.
Perhaps one reason is that some people today are so afraid of crime.  However, true stranger kidnapping are very rare, and the crime rate now is lower than it was during the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
With the nearly instantaneous news cycle and videos of crimes from across the nation played over and over again, it seems as though this country is on a downward spiral. Plus, with the violent video games, movies, and media, ideas for crime are spread and shared in a way unbeknownst at any other time in history.
Yet, the statistics show differently. While no one can guarantee anything, it seems as though our homes have become a fortress, instead of a place where children can play happily in the backyard on a swing set or with neighbors or in the driveway throwing baskets.
The skills kids learn from spending time outdoors are enormous and benefit them not only socially, but physically. They’ll eat and sleep better with fresh air and sunshine and keep the video game weight off.
Barton County has developed a driving habit, it seems, but many venues are convenient for walking.
Now is a perfect time for walking to school, to the grocery store, to the park, or just around the block. The air is cool and crisp, the mosquitoes are dwindling, and an evening walk for the entire family benefits everyone.

Karen La Pierre