By Laura Snider, Camera Staff Writer
Posted: 10/06/2010 07:47:20 AM MDT
About 70 students from Superior Elementary School gathered under cloudy skies Wednesday morning to participate in a "walking school bus."
The group - clasping balloons and clad in matching T-shirts - walked from Purple Park to the school to celebrate International Walk to School Day.
In all, about 3 million students in 40 countries were expected to participate in the event, according to Landon Hilliard, student transportation coordinator for Boulder Valley School District. Locally, Hilliard said 35 schools and an estimated 8,000 students participated Wednesday morning.
Colleen Chen, 9, and Kaity Plutt, who will turn 10 on Saturday, walked the route together, calling the event "so much fun."
"It gives you time to spend outside," Colleen said. "It's the only part of the day you get to talk to your friends, except for lunch and recess."
The walking school bus, which was attended by Superior Mayor Andrew Muckle, met up with hundreds of other kids who had also "walked or wheeled" in the school gymnasium to kick off the WOW Superior initiative.
The initiative is designed to jump-start walking and wheeling - which includes riding bikes, skateboards and scooters - and encourage kids to keep it up throughout the year.
"The idea is to give some pats on the back," Hilliard said. "We're trying to turn back the clock to a time when walking and biking was normal."
For third-graders Sala Ba, Carly Scruggs and Abi Mousseau, the appeal of walking to school is much more basic: It's fun, and sometimes (like Wednesday) it has other perks, too.
"You get to walk with your friends," Sala said, "and be late to school."
Read more: Thousands of Boulder Valley students participate in International Walk to School Day - Boulder Daily Camera