Lowcountry students walk to school with purpose

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Kids ditched the bus and laced up their favorite sneakers for the International Walk to School Day on Wednesday.

Both Julian Mitchell and Joseph Pye Elementary Schools took to the streets in celebrating the event along with a handful of other Lowcountry schools, including Howe Hall AIMS.

Mitchell Elementary's school nurse and Walk to School Day organizer, Lidie Collier, said the purpose of the walk was not only to encourage healthy lifestyles for the kids but to also make the community more aware of the safety of students walking in the neighborhood.

"If everyone gets to know the kids then you know familiar faces and it can cut down on safety issues that have been going down in this community," said Mitchell Elementary nurse, Lidie Collier.

About 80 percent of students at Mitchell Elementary walk to school on a regularly basis, according to Collier.

"It's all to promote community awareness to pedestrian safety, bicycling safety, and to let the community know that there is this enormous amount of children walking to and from school in the morning," she said.

Hundreds of kids throughout the Tri-County joined in on the International Walk to School Day. Mitchell students were joined by the Burke High School Band on their walk to school as they carried signs and reflective gear as part of a partnership with MUSC and the Safer Routes to School Safe Kids program.

Over at Pye, students walked along with members of the Carolina Chargers semi-pro football team, Fort Dorchester ROTC color guard, along with parents, teachers, and staff.

In the U.S., International Walk to School Day included more than 4,000 events across all 50 states. Walkers from the U.S. also joined children and adults in 40 countries around the world.