ODOT funding supports Safe Routes to School program

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Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasizes the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment.

Almost 500 schools and 250,000 students nationwide are expected to participate in the event, including students at Lakeforest Elementary School who will begin their trek at 6:45 a.m.

The city of Toledo will use its ODOT funds - about $640,000 - to upgrade crosswalks, improve sidewalks, connect bike lanes, and educate the community on safe and active transportation.

One of the goals is to encourage families who live near the school to try walking, rather than driving, their students to school.

School staff lined up on the walking path behind Discovery to welcome the youngsters with high fives. Research shows that a little exercise on the way to school could help kids and communities all year long.

"This has been a really big deal for parents", she said.

Students at Eastern Elementary will walk to class starting at 7:15 a.m., followed by students at Bethel School starting at 7:45 a.m.