DOBSON — The Surry County Health and Nutrition Center is partnering with other organizations to promote walking as exercise that could lead to a healthier lifestyle.
Today is International Walk to School Day, according to the health department. Thursday Mount Airy Middle School will celebrate the day with a Walk, Bike, Hop or Skip to School event which begins at Riverside Park.
According to a statement from the health department in 1969 about 48 percent of children walked to school. Now only 13 percent of students walk to school. According to the health department, the goal of international walk to school day is to promote student fitness by encouraging students to walk or bike to school.
Health department spokeswoman Maggie Simmons said her department has teamed with local school systems, the Mount Airy Police Department, Reeves Community Center, Watch for Me NC and a Safe Routes to School Project organization in North Carolina to promote the events.
The week’s events are also aimed at raising awareness for pedestrian and biker safety on area roads.
The Mount Airy Middle School event will lead children walking and on bicycles along the Ararat River greenway to school. Students are encouraged to arrive at Riverside Park by 7:15 a.m., and the trek to school will start shortly thereafter.
Another walking event is scheduled to help promote breastfeeding and is being organized by the Surry County Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. The Strolling for Babies and Breastfeeding event will take place on Oct. 17, beginning at 10 a.m. at Riverside Park.
The event is free. However, donations collected at the event will go toward funding the operations of Perfect Start: Tri-County Breastfeeding of North Carolina.
Mothers are encouraged to bring children, decorate their strollers and walk in the event, which will end at 2 p.m. Those who register for the event will be eligible to win door prizes and a prize for the best-decorated stroller. There will also be vendors from throughout the county at the event.
The event is aimed at raising awareness for the benefits of breastfeeding and as a show of support for breastfeeding in the community.
For more information regarding the Strolling for Babies and Breastfeeding event contact Brenda Hall at (336) 401-8452.
Andy is a staff writer for The News and can be reached at (336) 415-4698.