Elementary students from LA beach cities participate in International Walk to School Day

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Thursday, October 11, 2018
SoCal elementary students participate in International Walk to School Day
Instead of getting dropped off by car, elementary students in LA's beach cities walked to school for International Walk to School Day.

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Instead of getting dropped off by car, Manhattan Beach elementary students met 10 minutes before class to walk to school.

The effort was part of International Walk to School Day, where 3,000 students from Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo beach communities participated in Wednesday morning.

The initiative is led by the Beach Cities Health District, which has already worked to lower childhood obesity in Redondo Beach.

"We want to develop those healthy habits early and get kids in the habit of exercising early, and also being with their friends," Tom Bakaly, CEO of Beach Cities Health District, said. "Not sitting on their phones when they sit in the back of a car going to school. This is a way for them to interact before school starts."

Walking to school is just one component of the Live Well Kids program. Last month, students planted a vegetable garden to encourage healthy eating.

Parents are encouraged to walk with their kids, not just for safety, but to benefit from that social interaction as well.

Ethan Hunt, a fifth grader at Robinson Elementary, said he prefers to walk and feels lucky Southern California weather makes it easy.

He said it even helps him energize his brain for math.