Urged to walk

NEW ULM – Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project (HONU) is partnering with New Ulm elementary schools to encourage walking to school.

Students can join walking busses – groups of students chaperoned by two adults – Wednesday, Oct. 5, before school, at three different locations. Jefferson, St. Paul’s and St. Anthony elementary schools are the three participating schools.

“We did this last May and the kids really enjoyed it,” HONU Project Manager Cindy Winters said. “It was just fun for them to be outside and it helped them get rid of some of that excess energy before they get in the classroom and then they are better prepared to sit quietly and learn.”

Parents can drop students off at Turner Hall, Lincoln Park or New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC). Buses will be leaving between 7:30 a.m. and 7:40 a.m. from all three drop-off areas.

A central volunteer will be available during drop-off to direct students to the proper groups. Each group’s volunteers will have signs indicating which school they are walking to as well.

HONU encourages anyone to walk to school, even if they do not participate in the walking busses. Families that are on the routes to the schools are encouraged to join as the bus passes if they wish.

This is the second Walk To School Day. The first occurred last May. The first walk was such a success, according to Winters, that students wanted to do it again as soon as it was over.

HONU is looking to expand the walking program, Winters said. She would like to see it become a weekly event during the spring and fall. Eventually, she would also like to see busses organized by neighborhood.

For more information and to view the walking routes visit www.heartsbeatback.org/walk. Parents can register their kids early by contacting their school.