Students and staff with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District are getting out their bikes, scooters, skateboards and walking shoes to take part in Bike It! Walk It! Day set for Wednesday (today) and Friday of this week.

Bike It! Walk It! Day encourages kids, their parents and others to leave their cars at home and get to school or work by bike, foot, carpool or bus.

Approximately 30 percent of SMMUSD students at 14 different schools participate in the event, avoiding approximately 12,000 car trips, officials with the school district said.

Parents and teachers will be joining students on “Walking School Buses” to Lincoln Middle School on Wednesday (today) and John Adams Middle School on Oct. 5 to show their support of the Santa Monica Safe Routes to School Program, which is intended to counteract the rise in childhood diseases, worsening air quality and congestion around schools by funding projects that improve safety by promoting walking and bicycling to school.

Participants, including members of the City Council and school board, will walk in groups to school.

Those who choose to take the bus can do so for free if they ride Big Blue. Officials with the bus company said students can print out passes via the Bike It! website — bikeitwalkit.org — for both days.

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