KAYSVILLE -- Walking to school is a snap for fourth-grader Annie Fuller.
"I just live across the street," said the Kaysville Elementary School student.
Fellow fourth-grader Porter Hawkes spends a little more time walking, or riding his bike or scooter to school, because he lives four blocks away.
"I even walk to school in the winter, except if it's a blizzard," he said.
The two are among hundreds of students across the state who have taken the pledge to walk or bike safely both to school and in their neighborhoods this year as part of the Utah Department of Transportation's Student Neighborhood Access Program challenge.
Walking or biking to school not only helps students improve their overall physical health, but it also reduces traffic congestion around schools and makes it safer, officials said.
Students from kindergarten to eighth grade are encouraged to walk three days each week during the four weeks of September leading up to "International Walk to School Day," which is Oct. 5.
About half of the school's student body is bused to the school. Those students can chart walking or biking in their neighborhoods to participate in the SNAP challenge.
Kaysville Police Cpl. Dave Pollard handed out green ribbons to students as they arrived at school.
Some students also received friendly reminders to wear helmets when they biked or rode their scooters to school, to look both ways before crossing the street in front of the school, and to walk their bikes and scooters across the streets instead of riding them.
"I'm here to keep you safe," said Pollard, who is also the school's DARE officer.
Students who participate in the SNAP challenge recorded their progress on a "Walk More in Four" chart. If they turn in their charts by Oct. 4, they are eligible for a drawing for prizes, said Aimee Geddes, part of the SNAP assembly team at the school.
Principal Brian Pead said he encourages his students to get out and move during recess. Many students use the school's walking track during the year.
Last year, students logged more than 800 miles around the track, Pead said.
"We're a sedentary society," he said. "We sit at home listening to iPods, playing Game Boys and not going outside and playing in groups like we used to."