Jackson County

Ocean Springs students start new walking school bus program for exercise, socializing

OCEAN SPRINGS SCHOOL DISTRICT 
 
 Elementary students gather at the YMCA to walk to the Upper Elementary School via the new Walking School Bus program, where students go door-to-door and pick up other students.
OCEAN SPRINGS SCHOOL DISTRICT Elementary students gather at the YMCA to walk to the Upper Elementary School via the new Walking School Bus program, where students go door-to-door and pick up other students.

OCEAN SPRINGS -- A new walking program for Ocean Springs students kicked off yesterday on National Walk to School Day and attracted 40 participants.

It's a new concept for Mississippi called the Walking School Bus.

"With childhood obesity growing, and the number of elementary school gamers on the rise, the Walking School Bus program provides a way for students to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise and visit with friends," said Mary Rodgers, assistant principal for the 4th grade. "It also may alleviate traffic congestion and reduce pollution near schools."

Each day, at 6:45, students meet at Blossman YMCA where they can play foosball or ping pong while they wait for the walking bus to begin.

Rodgers said they walk less than one mile to the Upper Elementary School. Another group walks door-to-door and to pick up students who live within a mile of the school.

"National Walk to School Day, was a fitting kick off" for the program, she said. "It was a hit with students."

The Upper Elementary plans to do it six weeks in the fall and six weeks in spring, when the weather best suits the program.

Those who walked on the first day asked for more registration forms to give to their friends, he wrote the Sun Herald.

Interested students or parents can contact Jon Wilson, assistant principal for the 6th grade, at jwilson@ossdms.org.

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