Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo's Communications Office
Lt. Governor Mongiardo Celebrates International Walk to School Day

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, October 07, 2009  
Contact Information:  Sarah Baird
Eric Duncan
502-564-2611
 


Lt. Governor Mongiardo recognized today several Kentucky communities participating in International Walk to School Day, a global celebration aimed at teaching safe walking and biking skills, encouraging kids to walk or bike to school and promoting walking and biking throughout the year. Schools in Bowling Green, Lexington, Louisville, Murray, Paris and Versailles are among those participating in 2009.

Since 2005, federal Safe Routes to Schools dollars have been available for schools to make walking and biking safer and more convenient for children and families. Many of the communities participating in the walk to school day event this year also receive Safe Routes to School funding. Communities awarded with a grant may use the funding for educational programs, for the promotion of physical activity and/or for educating students on walking and biking safety. Other infrastructure related projects may involve construction of new bike lanes, pathways, sidewalks, and/or crosswalks.

“In 1969, almost 50% of children walked or rode their bikes to school. Unfortunately, that number today hovers around 16%,” said Lt. Governor Mongiardo. “As a doctor, I know the importance of keeping our children moving, outdoors and active: an energetic approach to childhood health lays the foundation for a lifetime of wellness. International Walk to School Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the need for kids to be physically active—for today and for tomorrow.”

Many schools across the state have used this yearly celebration as a springboard to become part of a larger movement to not only creates safer and easier routes to school, but also enhances the health of Kentucky children. Inactivity and obesity are serious issues statewide. The Commonwealth ranks as the 4th most inactive state in the nation, with approximately 37% of Kentucky children falling into the overweight or obese categories.

For more information about communities participating in International Walk to School Day in Kentucky, see http://www.walktoschool-usa.org.

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