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Students at Mills Lawn Elementary School participated in Walk to School Day on Oct. 5.

Students at Mills Lawn Elementary School participated in Walk to School Day on Oct. 5. (Photo by Lauren Shows)

A health-conscious start to the day at Mills Lawn

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Mills Lawn Elementary School celebrated Walk to School Day on Oct. 5. At around 9 a.m., participating students set off for the playground outside Mills Lawn, enjoying a brisk walk through the cool morning on a late-start Wednesday. Mills Lawn was one of 4,000 U.S. schools participating on this day, and October is recognized as Walk to School Month internationally.

Once students arrived at Mills Lawn, they were given free water bottles by Jillian Bothwell and Kirsten Bean of Greene County Public Health, as well as healthy snacks, which were donated by Tom’s Market, Trader Joe’s and Sodexo, which provides food services for YS Schools. After snacks and some education on the benefits of walking to school and choosing water over sugary drinks, kids spent the hour before school by staying active on the school’s playground.

The effort was spearheaded by Christopher Bongorno, who has organized the event since 2014. A 2010 survey found that approximately 30 percent of Mills Lawn students typically walk or bike to school, putting the school ahead of the national average. According to Bongorno, 63 percent of students either walked or biked to school for the Walk to School Day event, with 41 percent walking and 22 percent biking.

“[Walk to School Day] is part of our ongoing effort to promote Safe Routes to School for students in the village,” said Bongorno via email this week. “Walking and biking to school are also great ways to get your day off to a healthy start, helping to prepare our kids for the school day and achieve the 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day that can help prevent obesity and other health conditions, like high blood pressure and diabetes.”

Scroll down for a photo gallery of the morning’s festivities.

(Photos by Lauren Shows)


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