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Area Students Celebrate Walk-to-School Day

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East Silver Spring Elementary students Caleb Savoie and Oliver Nan get ready for Walk-to-School Day.
Jonathan Wilson
East Silver Spring Elementary students Caleb Savoie and Oliver Nan get ready for Walk-to-School Day.

By Jonathan Wilson

Today, students, parents and teachers across the D.C. metropolitan area are celebrating International Walk to School Day.

The excitement from these East Silver Spring Elementary students may have stemmed from the fact that for many, walking to school is a rare treat.

Sara Wallen, who has two daughters at the school, says she'd let both of them walk more often if it weren't for something many people are worried about these days: distracted drivers.

"Their focus is just somewhere else, so they don't notice kids that are really little walking to school. That's my biggest issue," Wallen says.

The Partnership for a Walkable America says 40 years ago--more than 40 percent of schoolchildren walked or biked to school. That number has dropped to just 13 percent.

Proponents of walking say it provides children with exercise, helps curb pollution from cars, and promotes better city planning.

Six-year-old Luka Mairesse says walking is great, but it'd be easier with longer legs.

"It's fun but I get tired," Mairesse says.

Those sharing in Luka's fun, or fatigue, this morning in Silver Spring are County Executive Ike Leggett, Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, and U.S. Transporation Secretary Ray Lahood--all strong supporters of more walkable communities.

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