LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—Gov. Scott Walker has approved $3 million in grants for projects encouraging kids to walk and bike to school.
The city and county of La Crosse both received state grant money for safe routes to school.
The city will use the money to increase signage and improve intersections along school routes.
The County will use its portion of the grant, about $300,000, to improve the La Crosse County Safe Routes to School Program.
La Crosse County Safe Routes to school uses encouragement activities to get kids excited about walking or biking to school.
One of those activities is the walking school bus. It's just like a regular school bus picking kids up on the way to school, only everyone is on their feet.
"It gets around the fact a lot of parents don't feel comfortable letting their kids walk alone," Virginia Loehr, Safe Routes to School Coordinator said. "And so the walking school bus is perfect because it supervised its fun for the kids and it really makes walking to school manageable for a lot of families."
They're also going to offer more classes, teaching kids the rules of the road and the benefits of walking or biking.
"Kids benefit because then they walk to school in the morning or bike they arrive at school alert and ready to learn which can really benefit in the classroom," Loehr said.
She hopes learning to live healthy at an early age helps kids become active adults.
"As kids grow they not only walk and bike to school but they become adults who walk and bike to work and who walk and bike to the store," Loehr said. "We're really trying to instill this idea that it's not about that you have to drive every where."
She said a lifetime rich in physical activity lowers the risk of obesity.
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