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Abilene and Wylie schools participate in 'Walk to School Day'

Published On: Oct 03 2012 05:51:28 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 03 2012 09:29:05 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

You may have seen more children walking to school Wednesday morning.

It was Walk to School Day for some Abilene and Wylie students from elementary school to junior high.

Walk to School Day began in 1997 in Chicago but this is actually only the second year that the city of Abilene has been involved. Organizers hope the event will encourage kids to get moving and teach them, as well as drivers, the importance of being safe on the streets every day.

The goal of Walk to School Day was to remind children, and the community of Abilene, to be aware.

"There is nothing, I don't care if it's a a structure fire two blocks away, that is more important than the safety of our children," said Abilene Fire Chief Ken Dozier.

Students from Wylie Junior High and Jackson Elementary schools gathered at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday morning to walk in groups to school. Several organizers met after the event to talk about the benefits of physical activity among children and a proper education about how to safely cross streets. They also want to remind drivers of the role they play in keeping kids safe.

"The reality is, our children deserve our undivided attention behind the wheel," said Abilene Police Chief Stan Standrige.

Abilene Police Officer Tracy Gates teaches kids to use the "shoulder check" rule anytime they are walking. This means look both ways when crossing the street.

She also has a message for drivers: "Slow down. You don't want to make that horrible mistake of not seeing a child as they're crossing the street," she said.