Story by By Teri Vance originally appearing on the Nevada Appeal
Although they woke to a blustery morning, the Gudmundson girls did not waver in their commitment to walk to school as part of International Walk to School Day on Wednesday.
“The girls were going to walk, rain or shine,” said their mother Amber Little. “We’re kind of like the post office today.”
Little, the president of the parent-teacher association at Fritsch Elementary School, encouraged other parents to walk their children to school as well.
“Part of the mission of the PTA is to empower children by engaging families in school,” she said.
As a bonus, she invited Mayor Bob Crowell to join them on their walk.
“It’s a good way to involve community leaders,” she said. “And he can show his Bulldog spirit.”
Undaunted by the rain, Crowell accepted the invitation.
“I think it’s wonderful, because it not only promotes education, but it promotes a healthy lifestyle,” he said. “Those lessons are critical, and it’s good to learn them early in life.”
They also were joined by the girls’ grandfather Jim Atkins.
“I usually don’t get a chance to see them get to school in the morning,” he said. “So this is a first for me.”
Sponsored by Safe Routes to School, International Walk to School Day encourages students to walk or bike to school “as the first step to change community culture and create environments that are more inviting for everyone, young and old,” according to the organization’s website.
The purpose is to enhance health, to improve the environment and to create safer routes for walking and bicycling.
Brooke Gudmundson, 8, was honored to be accompanied by Crowell.
“It’s kind of cool,” she said. “Not many people get to walk with the mayor to school.”
Her little sister, Riley, was less impressed.
“I don’t mind,” she said.