Sunday, May 20, 2007

Neighborhood Walk program

You know, when you get a puppy, you should be committed to walking it, right?

If you have children, I think maybe you should be committed to at least that level of commitment to their exercise.

But that's a bit of an aside.

I was thinking about how Wil walks home from school every day. He takes the bus in the morning - which is probably a wise control on his time. And he walks home in the afternoon. I think he's taking some pride in having done this now for three semesters in Georgia. He's now 17.

What if our neighborhoods that say they're so much about families and children were to implement a neighborhood walk program? Volunteer-based, with maybe some assistance from the city or county depending on the need. Two adults, preferably from different families, for each day and each route, to walk children home on a set (and published) route. It could even be one adult volunteer and one High School Junior or Senior volunteer - giving our older teens who AREN'T into sports a chance to participate in something physical. They could even win awards, at least certificates, but certainly could have some volunteer work and responsibility to report when applying for jobs.

The idea would be that people who are uncomfortable with having their kids walk home would be able to allow it (or more likely, mandate it) knowing that the walk was supervised. Even better, the walk would be a community involvement for the child.

There are a lot of kinks to consider. The kid across the road from us is learning to play the trombone. That sucker is more than half her size, and she's not all that physical to begin with. That's where I'd start looking for neighborhood donations and other assistance. Professional musicians can get instrument cases with proper straps for one thing - so they can carry over the shoulder or on the back. But would it be enough to, say... have all the kids in the group take turns carrying the heavy loads? I dunno.

And there are other little things. What if one of your neighborhood walkers wants to read from the Bible while the kids walk? What if another one dares to mention he's an atheist?

Each neighborhood could sort something out. Their ability to do so ought to be a fair indication of their real willingness to invest in their kids.

Just a thought. I like the idea, but would I volunteer? Hmm.

Let me consider that AFTER moving to Florida.

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