Students in Moscow ditch the bus for International Walk to School Day

MOSCOW, ID - It was a chilly morning on the Palouse, but that didn't keep kids in Moscow from turning down their usual ride and walking to school instead.

"We go everywhere in our car, and it's nice for us as parents to remember that our kids need to be outside, and walk, and move," said parent Tiffany Skinner.

Wednesday was International Walk to School Day, and seven schools in Moscow participated. Student volunteers from the University of Idaho set up outside each of them to reward kids that walked or rode a bike to school with snacks and hot cocoa.

"It gives the kids something to be excited about," said University of Idaho volunteer Lyndsay Williams. "Something different in their school day, but also giving them a chance to exercise and have fun with their friends."

The University of Idaho partnered with the City of Moscow to create "Safe Routes to Schools," which is a program that educates children about safe walking and biking behaviors. Wednesday morning volunteers from the program, parents, and students assembled "walking school busses" to make sure that everyone arrived to school safely.

"It's kind of fun," said Skinner. "We live far enough away that I usually drive my kids to school, and it's fun that they have these days where the kids know that they can walk."

It was a happy, and healthy way to start the school day.