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Enota students, parents participate in Walk to School Day
Students and parents gather this morning at the Elks Lodge on Riverside Drive before walking their children to school. Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy is participating in Walk to School Day, which promotes health, safe walking or biking routes to school, physical activity and concern for the environment. Now in its 14th year, Walk to School Day is expected to include 3,000 schools from all 50 states.

Around 200 elementary school students and their parents surely shamed bypassing drivers as they took advantage of cool weather and clear skies to get some exercise before the school day started.

“We have to walk to school,” kindergartner Chase Kingrey said. “It’s good for the heart.”

Kingrey and his classmates at Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy were participating in Walk to School Day on Wednesday, along with around 3,000 other schools across the country. The event, part of International Walk to School Month, is set to promote exercise and improve air quality with less reliance on vehicles.

“It’s a fun event to be able to have the families get together walking,” Enota Principal Matt Maynor said. “Do some physical activity for the kids; it’s kind of like a family event.”

Participants covered nearly a mile from their starting points, with one group taking off from Green’s Grocery and another group beginning at the Elks Club, both on Riverside Drive. They walked on the sidewalks of Riverside on their way to Enota, where a breakfast of fresh fruit and cereal was waiting for them.

“They’ll be able to go down, grab a healthy breakfast together, come back to the cafeteria and sit and enjoy some time before school starts up,” Maynor said.

Mom Michele Olivo said the event is a good way to support the school.

“In today’s world, they keep saying a lot of children are overweight and not eating healthy,” Olivo said. “So I think that the walking will help a little. I know it’s not going to make a drastic change all in one day, but I think it’s a good thing to get them involved in walking.”

Her daughter, fourth-grader Jayda Perez, was looking forward to the trek.

“I’ll get exercise,” she said.

Emily Ligon was using the walk to mentally prepare for her third-grade class.

“I’m walking to school because it keeps people safe,” she said.

And while the skies were clear, the day wasn’t without some drawbacks.

“It’s cold,” Ligon said. “I’m walking.”

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