I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy the writing and the message of the Free Range Kids blog … today she pens Whatever Happened to Walking to School? in the Wall Street Journal.
How did we get to this point? How did we forget that it’s just a walk to school?
Simple. We bought the line that good parenting is the same as over-parenting. That the more we could do for our children, the better. We forgot the joy of scuffing down the street when we were young, crunching leaves, picking up seeds, and decided we’d do it all for our kids, independence be damned!
Except independence is good. Children who walk to school are healthier, for obvious reasons. New studies suggest they may do better academically, too. “You can see the difference in the kids who walk or bike,” says Jerry Flynn, principal of St. Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic school in Indianapolis that has been encouraging parents to stop driving their kids. “They’re bright, chatty, ready to go.”
And one day, they might even get to tell their own kids something more than: “When I was your age, I walked 10 feet to the SUV—and it was uphill both ways.”
I’ve been walking my daughter to school a couple days a week for the past two years. The time spent with her is invaluable – we talk, share, laugh, play in a way that we don’t do at any other time.
I have been advocating for walkability for some time – the benefits – physical, mental and real estate values – are remarkable.
I know this – walkability has become more of an absolute “must-have” for more of my clients seeking to buy homes in the Charlottesville and Albemarle area. They want to be “close to stuff.” Period.
A few stories that speak to walkability in the Charlottesville area: