CHARLOTTE, N.C. They re calling it Shamrock Walks. And parents and kids are pumped.

I m about two miles away from the school, said parent Tom Egan.

Egan is bringing the idea of walking to school to a whole new level.

The most important thing is to be healthy, he said.

Egan developed a safe route map for his child s school Shamrock Gardens Elementary. It tells families how long it takes to walk from their neighborhoods to the school. And it establishes meet up points. Those meet up points are designated areas where parents meet one another each morning and a lead parent walks a group of kids into school.

Use your car as little as possible, said Egan. And if you can walk and bike, then walk to school!

We want kids to walk in groups, said volunteer and Charlotte Firefighter Jason Dickson. Because when they walk out by themselves the drivers have a hard time seeing them. But they can see a lot of kids together so we stress for them to walk in groups, he said.

The parents like the safe route program and so do the kids. The concept is growing. On a great day there were more than 100 kids walking to school. Most days, about 30-40 kids walk to Shamrock Gardens, according to the school s administration.

Friends Brian Fulwiley and Dexter Willhelm say they re learning.

Sometimes if you run out in the street you might get hurt and you don t want to get hurt, said Fulwiley, a second grader.

Stop, look and listen, chimed in Willhelm.

And give walking a try.

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