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Walkin’ in the Street

International Walk to School Day

Kellie Martin didn’t have to walk six miles uphill both ways to and from Cold Spring Elementary School last Wednesday. However, as one of several hundred Cold Spring students who participated in International Walk to School Day, she still had some challenges.

Kellie was one of more than 30 Cold Spring students who met near Hadley’s Park and walked a downhill 0.7-mile route down Falls Chapel Way. Three Montgomery County police officers on motorcycles accompanied the students and their parents — there are no sidewalks along that stretch of Falls Chapel Way.

Before the walk began, Cold Spring parent Jennifer Salaj told the students about some of the benefits of walking to school — students who walk tend to concentrate better in school.

“How many of you want to do this all the time when the weather’s nice?” Salaj said.

“I even do it when it’s raining,” one student shouted.

Kellie’s parents usually drive her to school, but she was eager to try a different approach. “It’s fun and you get exercise,” she said.

At Cold Spring, the Falls Chapel walkers merged with walkers who arrived from neighborhoods south of the school. Principal Martin Barnett greeted students as he does each day, sans the parade of vehicles idling in the entryway. “Just another typical day at school?” he joked. Barnett estimated that several hundred of Cold Spring’s 432 students walked on Wednesday.

“I think the kids really enjoyed it, and I think we’d like to do it again,” Salaj said. “At $3.09 a gallon [of gasoline], I’d love to leave my Accord in the garage.”