Local students and parents participate in Walk to School Day

Schools all over Austin encouraged parents to spend extra time with their kids by skipping the car ride and taking a walk to school. It was all part of International Walk to School Day.

FOX 7's Tania Ortega was out at Hillcrest Baptist Church where students and parents took a short ten minute walk to Hill Elementary. Kids got to trace their feet in chalk to commemorate the walk as well.

The event at Hill Elementary was one of more than 5,000 similar ones across the country. Walkers from the U.S. joined children and adults in 40 countries around the world.

In Austin, the city, AISD and Safe Kids Austin partnered up to increase the amount of children who walk to and from school each day. The event works to create safer routes for walking and bicycling. It also helps increase physical activity in children, pedestrian safety and eases traffic congestion.

Officials say walking to school is the perfect time for parents to bond with their kids. They say a good age for kids to head on their own to school is around 10 but it's up to parents to decide when it's best.

Just make sure kids walk in groups and look both ways before crossing the street.