How does your kid get to school?

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“As cash-strapped school districts cut back on bus service, more students will walk, bicycle, or carpool to class this year.” — Sierra Club Back to School Page

I hope a lot of people on Facebook find the Green Works Walk to School Challenge. If enough people take the challenge, the winning school gets a Green Grant.

It’s about time we got rid of that afternoon line of cars in front of the school as parents pick up kids who, seriously folks, really do live close enough to walk or ride their bikes.

My walk or bike ride to and from school

My parents, like your parents, probably told you that when they went to school, they had to walk, either clawing their way through mile-high snow drifts or sprinting through varmint-infested scab land. That said, I still wonder why so many kids are being driven to school or are taking school buses when, just a few years ago almost everyone was expected to walk.

I didn’t have to fight my way through rogue coyotes or lurking rattlesnakes, but–like a good horse–my bicycle knew the way from my house to the school house some 2.18 miles away. When it was raining, my mother drove me to school or I got wet.

We were lucky in those days. We didn’t have MP3 players or cell phones, so our walks to and from school got us away from the far-away parts of the world and gave us time to concentrate on the people, houses, dogs, cats and birds along the way. There was plenty of time to think, too, without being wired in to a massive Internet and phone system of unceasing input.

But, I digress. Walking or biking to school was good for us. It can be good for your kid, too. The green aspects of the equation are icing on the cake.


Malcolm R. Campbell’s work has appeared in “A View Inside Glacier National Park” and the 2010 “Nature’s Gifts Anthology.”

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2 responses

  1. Sadly, things have changed, Malcolm. I can not remember a single time being driven to school, but that was a different time, and in a fairly small city. It was much safer back then for everyone. The old school that I attended is still there and doing quite well and I sometimes wonder what it is really like now. Perhaps many of the kids do still walk to it.

    • I live in a small town with little traffic and few, if any, areas that might be called “bad neighborhoods.” Still, people tend to drive their kids to school, one that’s just about a mile from my neighborhood. Not sure why that’s the norm here. I can understand why it’s the norm when there are dangerous intersections and dangerous areas to walk or ride through.

      Malcolm