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Area's Walk to School Day draws a crowd
By Matt Stone

October 8, 2005

Tempe’s seventh annual Walk to School Day passed with organizers pleased at the turnout. The event, which took place Oct. 5, involved children and parents in school districts not only here but around the country.

At Kyrene de la Mariposa, Kyrene de los Niños and Kyrene del Norte elementary schools, as at other participating sites, the activity was designed to promote a healthier environment as well as stimulate community involvement.

Participating students and their parents walked to school between 6:30 and 8:15 a.m. Once at school, the observance continued with tree-planting ceremonies.

Tempe City Council members joined Tempe and Kyrene elementary school board members to plant trees with the students and parents.

The goal of this portion of the event was to illustrate how trees make walking more enjoyable while also improving the environment, officials said.

After the tree planting, students and parents took part in a free breakfast. The localized observance is part of a much larger event, International Walk to School Week which runs worldwide Oct. 3-7 and involves millions of children and their families annually.

This year, it was estimated that 3,000 schools from all 50 states participated.

The origin of the week came in 2000 after several successful independent events that followed the same concept. The International Walk To School Steering Group was formed in 1999, bringing together national and local government and non-government representatives from around the world to promote and encourage the walk to school activities.

With their joint efforts, supporters say the event grows each year.

Whether it was in the Kyrene Corridor or around the globe, students came together to clean up the earth and assist in creating a better tomorrow.

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