For the first time, roughly 1,000 Johnson County students will join schools from across the country for International Walk to School Day.

Walk to School Day began in 1997 as a way to emphasize the importance of increasing physical activity and pedestrian safety among children. More than 5,000 Walk to School Day events are held across the country each year to celebrate the event, according to Johnson County Public Health nurse Julieann Tanachion, who is coordinating the Johnson County events.

Johnson County will host two events: one in Kaycee on Oct. 9 and one in Buffalo on Oct. 10, according to Tanachion. The events are open to all elementary and middle school students.

Kaycee walkers are encouraged to meet at the Kaycee General Store at 7:30 a.m. and will begin walking to the school at 7:45. Buffalo walkers are encouraged to meet at the park on Angus Street between the outdoor pool and tennis courts at 7:30 a.m. and will start walking at 7:45.

Students who normally take the bus to school will be dropped off at the start of the walking routes so they can join their classmates, Tanachion said. Parents are encouraged, but not required, to walk with their students.

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