The initiative also advocates for safer routes to school. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Ragon's principal approached him with the idea. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Teachers throughout the school had the students decorate signs with phrases like "Walking is Awesome." (Photo source: WLOX News)
PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) -
On Wednesday, several schools on the coast took part in an international movement that involved lacing up their sneakers and walking to school.
Pass Christian Elementary jumped on board with the worldwide initiative created by The Partnership for a Walkable America.
Physical education teacher and health advocate Payton Ragon says his principal approached him with the idea.
"So I took the initiative and got it started and we're going to build on it from here on," said Ragon.
Normally, students are encouraged to walk or bike to school. However, since many of his students live too far away to walk or bike, Ragon changed up the format. He invited each elementary class to join him outside for laps around the school throughout the day.
"Walking is a great exercise and something that kids and students and everybody alike can do on a daily basis," said Ragon.
The initiative also advocates for safer routes to school. Ragon says some of the students who live close by actually do walk to school. The P.E. teacher also believes that education on safe routes is something that needs attention, as well as encouraging healthy living.
"Today is all about going home and sitting in front of video games, but now I want them to get outside and get excited about walking," said Ragon.
To help with the excitement, Ragon and other teachers throughout the school had the students decorate signs with phrases like "Walking is Awesome." The teachers didn't seem to mind pumping up the kids, either.
"This is one of those opportunities that we can get kids moving and more active so this is a great opportunity for us," said Ragon, who hopes to make the day a tradition in the school.