It's a focus built around one day - but the hope is that the event will instill lifestyle changes in our young kids.  October 6 is International Walk To School Day, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation is encouraging students across the state to take part by walking or riding their bikes to class for the day.

The annual event has a local tie in a it's sponsored by Minnesota Safe Routes To School.  Organizers hope to encourage students and parents alike to increase physical activity and practice safe walking and bicycling activities.  They also aim to make activities like walking and biking more visible in communities, reduce traffic congestion, and strengthen the connections between families and schools.

School kids running in elementary school hallway, front view

In many ways, it's a win-win situation for everyone involved. Dave Cowan, MNDOT's Safe Routes To School Coordinator offers:

"We know students do better in school when they build physical activities into their day, and this event promotes safe walking and bicycling skills that students can use throughout their lives."

More than 90 schools throughout the state are expected to take part.  There is still time to get your school involved, too.  Click here to get registered.

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There's also a social media tie-in to the day.  Participants are encouraged to join in Minnesota's Walk To School Day Photo Contest. Organizers want to see how schools and students in your community celebrates walking.  Click here to get started.  There is also a component to the Walk To School Day Photo Contest on the Minnesota Safe Routes To School Facebook page.

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