Columbia students participate in Walk-to-School Day

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COLUMBIA - Students, parents and teachers participated in international Walk-to-School day Wednesday morning. Columbia Public Schools has participated in this international event for more than a decade. 

CPS Community Relations Director Michelle Baumstark said it is a fun and exciting way to engage students and families in the idea of walking or biking to school. 

Mill Creek Elementary students, parents and teachers gathered at Central Bank of Boone County on West Nifong Blvd. to make the walk. Snacks and drinks were waiting at the school playground for the kids. 

Mill Creek parent Yvonne Binfield organized the event and said the walk has grown in popularity over the years. 

"The amount of kids that participate in the walk has pretty much doubled, since I started, six years ago," Binfield said. 

The event began in the United States in 1997 iand schools from all 50 states participate in the event each October. In 2000, the event went global and now involves more than 40 countries.

Participation in Walk-to-School day reached a record high in 2014 with more than 4,700 events registered from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In 2004 less than 1,400 events were registered.

According to, Walk to School Day events can help encourage communities to implement policy or engineering changes that make it safer to walk and bike to school. In 2014, 70 percent of event organizers indicated that their event led to planned, or already completed, policy or engineering changes.

2014 marked the 13th year Walk to School Day had particapation in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.