Children put on their walking shoes and went to school the old-fashioned way for VicHealth’s Walk to School campaign for October.
The campaign was a challenge for children living in remote areas, but schools were quick to come up with other ways to get their students out in the fresh air.
South Katunga Primary School students and teachers went for a walk down Hays Rd to see a field of camels.
Principal Elizabeth Oudeman spotted the camels earlier in the month and decided it would give the students a reason to go for a walk.
‘‘Many of these students live far away and don’t have the opportunity to walk to school,’’ she said.
Mrs Oudeman, who was visibly out of breath by the time she reached the camels, said the walk was as good for her as it was for the students.
‘‘We decided we would go for a walk to show them the advantages of walking as a good form of exercise,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s also a good opportunity to teach them road rules. For example, we walk down the right-hand side of the road in the countryside so the oncoming traffic can see us.’’
South Katunga Primary School received a $100 council grant for participating in the walk to school campaign, with the money to be spent on healthy food for the students.
St Joseph’s in Cobram came up with its own plan to get students walking.
Bendigo Bank mascot ‘Piggy’ visited the school to walk around the playground with Banjo the school dog and a large crowd of excited students.
Teacher Carmel Natale said the students had been looking forward to walking with Piggy.
‘‘Last week we only had half a dozen kids coming along for the walk. Get the pig coming along and look what happens,’’ she said.
Piggy also enjoyed getting out of the office.
‘‘We want to get the message out there to encourage kids and families to do a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise a day by walking to school,’’ Piggy said.
‘‘We want to encourage them to take healthy alternatives to jumping in the car.’’
Bendigo Bank was the first corporate partner for the walk to school campaign.
St Joseph’s received a $350 grant which will go towards a healthy breakfast for early-rising students.
There were also competitions organised by Moira Shire Council to promote walking and other healthy habits for life.