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Gwinnett schools to join Walk to School Day

Wednesday won’t be a typical morning for students walking to Camp Creek Elementary.

They will be greeted by a host of firefighters, state officials and community leaders in an effort to raise awareness about pedestrian safety on International Walk to School Day. Gwinnett firefighters and representatives will join Safe Kids Gwinnett and the director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to discuss safety information and messages for kids. Police and fire vehicles are scheduled to be on hand, along with Sparky the fire safety dog.

Tania Diaz of Safe Kids Gwinnett said in a news release that the day gives parents and caregivers a chance to model safe pedestrian behavior.

“Our children learn by mimicking what they see,” Diaz said. “By walking with them on International Walk to School Day, we can show children how to walk safely.”

Along with Camp Creek, Arcado Elementary, Craig Elementary, Parsons Elementary and Sharon Elementary are scheduled to have similar events.

Arcado expects about 60 participants to walk or bike to school, to celebrate health and wellness, safe routes and pedestrian skills, as well as the environmental benefits of walking to school, said Joellen Wilson of the school’s Parent Teacher Association.

Representatives from the Environmental Protection Association’s Department of Children’s Health and Captain Planet were scheduled, but the partial federal government shutdown canceled their visit.

More than 250,000 children across the country are expected to participate in the annual event to learn safe walking skills and to encourage the creation of safe walking environments.

“International Walk to School Day is a great opportunity for students to learn how to remain injury-free as they walk to and from school,” Diaz said. “Walking to school is also an excellent way for children to be outside and get exercise.”

For more information, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org or www.iwalktoschool.org.