When I was growing up, I walked to school. I wore my backpack and carried my alto saxophone. Now, I know those were simpler times, but walking is a great way for kids to get around in general and a great way for them to get to school.
According to the New York Times 50% of all students walked or biked to school, now it is only 15%. Most students are driven to school via bus or car. It makes sense since parents are concerned about protecting their children from traffic hazards and predators. It just seems unfortunate that at a time when the obesity rates are rising among children (not to mention carbon emissions/environmental problems), walking to school, which provides a moderate amount of exercise, is not an option for many families.
One way to get the kids walking to school is by walking with them or by sharing the walk with other families nearby. The Walking School Bus is a great organization dedicated to getting kids to school on foot or bike in one big ol' group. There is truth to the saying "Safety in numbers." Plus, if you are involved in a "walking school bus," the parents involved take turns walking with the kids so you don't have to walk with them everyday. Who knows, you and your kids might even make some new friends.
You can also check out iWalk website. It is an international campaign working to create safe walking routes for school age children and is a great resource.
Put this date on your calendar: October 3rd is National Walk to School Day in the U.S.