On Wednesday morning, October 4, 2017, fewer Brookline students will be jumping out of private cars at Brookline public schools. To celebrate “Car-Free School Day,” hundreds of children will be walking, riding their bikes, or taking public transportation to school.

Kids will use alternate transportation to raise awareness about the impact fuel emissions have on the environment and to encourage physical activity among Brookline families. Parent volunteers will greet them and stamp their hands with the event logo, a green footprint. Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Commissioner of Public Health and Human Services said, “We want kids thinking about their health and how physical activity benefits them while saving our planet as well.”

Replacing driving to school with walking, biking, or other modes of travel achieves two goals: 1) It encourages physical activity and 2) It reduces our carbon footprint. According to the Center for Disease Control, childhood obesity rates in the country have tripled in the last three decades. Biking or walking as a form of physical activity can help slow this trend and prevent chronic conditions, such as diabetes. Similarly, when families decide to use other modes of transportation rather than driving a car, they help reduce the number of air pollutants emitted by automobiles.

Car-Free School Day is Brookline’s unique way to link with “International Walk to School Day,” which involves more than 4 million children from 44 different countries on October 4th. Also, this supports the town’s efforts to promote its partner program, Climate Action Brookline (CAB). Car-Free School Day will not only bring the community together, but it will reduce traffic congestion and promote safe streets.

Along with the Public Schools of Brookline and the School Green Teams, Car Free School Day is sponsored by the Brookline Departments of Public Health and Recreation, Brookline’s CAB (Climate Action Brookline) and the Selectmen’s Climate Action Committee.

For further information, please contact Lynne Karsten, [email protected] or 617-730-2336. Also, please join us on Twitter discussion: @BrooklineHealth, Facebook: Brookline Department of Public Health, or Instagram: Brooklinehealth.