Students across the nation walked to school on Wednesday, marking the 20th anniversary of “Walk to School Day," an event slated for October 4 in the United States.
This year, over 5,000 schools signed up to participate, the largest number since the event began in 1997, said Seth LaJeunesse, associate director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School. The Center coordinates Walk to School Day in America and, is also a part of the UNC Highway Safety Research Center.
LaJeunesse said schools participate in the day for many reasons, including promotion of physical activity, obesity awareness, creation of family time and school spirit.
Many local Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools participated in Walk to School Day. Rashkis Elementary School had 100 percent participation and contacted the Chapel Hill Police Department to provide assistance.
Students began participating in the event at 7 a.m. said Ran Northam, community safety communications specialist at Town of Chapel Hill. Regular car and bus riders were dropped off behind the UNC Wellness Center and walked to Rashkis.