Kids, parents and community members laced up their shoes Wednesday morning and took to the sidewalks for National Walk to School Day.

An estimated 400 people participated between elementary schools Claremore, Inola and Oologah-Talala.

The Wednesday Walking PALs program hosted the event, which featured local figures like the Chick-Fil-A Cow, Rogers State University Athletics, Will Rogers interpreter Andy Hogan, Associate District Judge Kassie McCoy, Police Chief Stan Brown, Sheriff Scott Walton, Deputy Coy Jenkins, PAL Program Project Director Celina Davis, TSET Healthy Living Project Director Amber Brassfield, Volunteers for Youth Community Liaison Caitlyn Campbell, Parks & Recreation Director Joe Kays and school principals.

Wednesday Walking PALs is a weekly partnership between Volunteers for Youth and the TSET Healthy Living Program of Rogers County.

“Our weekly walking groups at Claremont and Roosa usually average a total of about 15-20 kids, so this is a tremendous turnout today and will, perhaps, help our weekly groups grow to include more students,” Volunteers for Youth Community Liaison Mendy Stone. “A huge outcome from today is that we have already heard that Westside Elementary will now walk weekly as well as Oologah-Talala.”

“The idea behind it all is to bring attention to the fact that safe, pedestrian-friendly routes to school are important as well as providing one more way for kids to be physically active,” Stone said. “Arriving at school after a brisk walk of a few blocks helps them be ready to settle down and learn. Plus, we always have a walking topic of the day that centers around physical activity or nutrition.”