Detroit, Michigan — At 6:30 a.m. on the morning of April 2, the Frank Murphy Elementary/Middle School, Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) team stepped-off as participants in the school’s first “Safe Routes To Schools – Walk To School Day” observance. Staff, parents and other volunteers met students at Burt Rd. & Fenkell and Lahser & Fenkell and accompanied them to school until 7:30 a.m.

The volunteers took note of the routes that students used to walk or ride their bikes to school to identify the safest routes for them to use. The information gathered from the walk is helping to create an SR2S action plan to attempt to increase the safety of students and help them learn about the areas to avoid when walking to school or anywhere.

One of the most important benefits of walking or biking to and from school is the daily physical activity. A recent national survey found that while 70% of the parents of elementary/middle school aged children walked or bicycled to school as children, only 18% of their children walk or bike to school today. They also learned that three out of five children aged 9 to 13 are not taking part in any physical activity outside of their school physical education classes. The Centers for Disease Control predicts that one-third of the children born since 2000 will become diabetic unless Americans start eating less and exercising more. Walking or biking to school is an easy way to start a good habit.

Safe Routes to Schools is a national and statewide program to increase walking and biking to school along safe routes. For more information about Safe Routes to Schools at Frank Murphy School, call Ms. Gadson at
313-494-7585, or the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports at 1-800-434-8642.

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