by Mayor Tammy
As the season changes and the trees start to color, I know we are getting into October – or as we like to call it “Walktober”.
The month kicked off with National Walk to School Day on Tuesday October 3rd. This is an important day each year as we’re reminded of the importance of physical activity in our lives and safety when it comes to walking to school. I was able to join some of our officers as we walked to one of our newest schools, Willowcreek Elementary! It was a great way to start the day. A number of other school events occurred throughout the community as well - I hope you were able to participate with your kids that day!
National Walk to School Day serves as a springboard into the Mayor’s School Walking Challenge, a month-long competition sponsored by the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health, St. Luke’s and the Idaho Dairy Council. This month-long challenge is designed to promote good health and activity for area school children by encouraging them to walk to school.
Elementary schools in Meridian who accept the challenge will be competing against other schools within our community. Nearly all of the 16 schools in Meridian are participating and the schools with the highest average number of miles per student will win funds for physical activity equipment and/or food service equipment. In addition, Mayors who walk an average of 10,000 steps a day will win a $1,000 to donate to a park or school of their choice for new physical activity equipment. So I’m on a mission! I’ll be armed with a FitBit all month that will not only track my steps as I walk alongside students but also the walking activity I take part in throughout the day.
To encourage participation by our school children, we are continuing in the Spring with Mayor Tammy’s Walking Club. The club is certainly a highlight for me and is our way of encouraging elementary schools and students to keep track of their walking throughout the year, not just during this month long challenge. I am committed to visiting each school that is part of the Walking Club to join the students during their designated walking time. I really enjoy walking with the students in our area because I love seeing the excitement in their eyes as they ‘walk’ to improve their health. I also enjoy my discussions as well – always learn something new from our kids! The Walking Club is a great reminder of just how easy and simple it is to add physical activity and exercise into our already busy schedules. At the end of the season we will celebrate with the top three classes at each participating school which includes lunch with the winning class.
I invite you to join me, and our elementary students, in walking during the month of October. It is my hope that through this challenge we not only take a few moments to identify ways to improve our own physical activity each day, and then do it. Make every day National Walk to School Day in your house. I hope to see you out on the walking paths!
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