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By Michelle Durham

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (CBS) — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has just released thousands of federal dollars to help make it easier for children to walk or bike to school.

Officials there hope to instill the walking habit early, to promote good health and exercise, and they want to make sure it’s done safely.

“Two elementary schools in the Methacton School District in Montgomery County will receive nearly $20,000,” says Penndot spokeswoman Erin Waters.  “They will implement what we call a ‘walking school bus program,’ where groups of students walk together with an adult, so everyone is in a group. And they will also develop educational materials.”

In the Philadelphia School District, she adds, “there will be nearly $10,000 to purchase safety equipment and some materials for crossing guards. They will also hold educational efforts for students, teachers, and parents about biking safety.”

As for when the programs will be implemented, Waters was not precisely sure, but she says it will be relatively soon as the districts have to use the money by a fixed date next year.

More information is available at www.saferoutespa.org.

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