Exeter hosts Walk to School Day

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Over 130 elementary and middle school students, staff members and parents participated in Exeter's ninth Walk to School Day on Oct. 8.

Exeter Elementary School students who took part in Exeter's ninth Walk to School Day were treated to breakfast muffins and juice courtesy of the First Baptist Church of Exeter. Over 130 individuals participated in this year's event, which was held on Oct. 8. Democrat Photo

Clint Clark, Exeter morning patrol officer, shared safety tips with the students before the large group walked from the Exeter First Baptist Church parking lot to the school last Wednesday morning.

"When you are walking to school make sure you stay out of the road," said Clark. "When you are crossing a road, look both ways, ahead and behind. Also, always obey the cross walk guard."

Clark encouraged the students to always cross at cross walks instead of running across busy roadways in areas where safety officers are not present.

"For those of you who ride the bus to school, remember that your bus driver has two functions," said Clark. "They are there to get you safely to school and safely home. Always obey your bus driver and stay in your seats."

Clark warned the students about accepting rides from strangers.

"I don't care if the person tells you that they have lost their little puppy or kitty cat," said Clark. "You keep going and tell them, 'Go see Clint. He'll help you find it.' Don't ever get in the car."

In addition to listening to Clark's short informative speech, students received breakfast treats that were provided by Exeter First Baptist Church and Walk to School safety goodie bags that were distributed by city officials.

"Enjoy walking to school today and throughout the school year and have a safe and happy school year," said Clark. "Remember, if you ever need us for anything, don't hesitate to call on us."

The Walk to School parade was led by Exeter Mayor Rusty Reed. Parents, administrators, faculty members and city officials escorted the group of students to the school campus.

Exeter has participated in the Walk to School event since 1998. This year, Exeter was one of three communities to receive a special Walk to School sign that displays the words "Slow down." The sign was placed in the cross walk on Highway 76/86 during last week's Walk to School Day event.

International Walk to School Day originated in 1997 when Chicago Mayor Richard Daley led city officials and students on a walk to school. The event was sponsored by Partnership for a Walkable America, which works to improve walking conditions and the number of walkers in America.

Last year, around 6,000 schools across the United States participated in Walk to School Day.

For more information or to register a school for the event, visit. www.walktoschool.org.

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