Exeter school children walk to school
Children get exercise, safety tips, treats
Wednesday morning began a little different than the average school day for Exeter school children, as they all walked to school.
Even children who normally ride the bus were dropped off at a rendezvous point and joined the crowd to walk.
At 7:30 a.m., about 200 children, teachers and staff met in the parking lot of First Baptist Church of Exeter, two blocks from the school, where they were given a breakfast snack, juice and goodie bag. Then, from the back of a pickup truck, Exeter Superintendent Ernest Raney talked to the children about safety while walking to school. Raney reminded them to use crosswalks, observe crossing guards and look in all directions before crossing Highway 76/86, a busy highway many children must cross to get to school. He also advised them to walk with a friend if possible if they have permission from their parents, and to never get in a car with a stranger.
Exeter Elementary School Principal Tim Jordan was also at the event, along with several teachers. He said the national Walk to School Day event is a collaborative effort between the school, community and local police to teach children about the importance of safety while walking to school.
"It's promoting walking and exercising, and we talk about the opportunity to use crosswalks," he said. "We're not a big city, but people fly through town, so we want children to be safe. It's a nice reminder for kids to walk safely."
Jordan said the city and school work together to share crosswalk duty.
Exeter First Baptist Church Pastor Jerry Yarnall said the church has been providing a place for the school children to meet for the last 10 years or so.
"We try to see that the children get a donut and juice before they go," he said. "We came up with the idea years ago. It's a good event and gives the children a good example of walking and exercise."