Parents and children began their day Wednesday with some exercise and fresh air as they took part in Sherman Elementary School's 10th annual "Walk A Child To School Day."

"The intent is to build healthy strong bodies with our kids," said Sherman Principal Eileen Roxbee. "To get them to walk instead of taking transportation."

School mascot Sammy the Shark, with the help of a golf cart he was chauffeured in, met students at various points in the neighborhood as they made their way to school.

At the elementary level, students walk to school if they live a mile or less away. Roxbee said most of the students at Sherman are walkers. So why the need for "Walk A Student To School Day"?

"Because a lot of our students still get driven to school by the parents," Roxbee said, adding that due to the relatively small school parking lot, the fewer cars that come in, the better.

Parent Renee Lemos, who walked three children to school Wednesday, said she walks them all the time.

"It's an opportunity to be outside with nature," she said. "We call it a nature walk."

Along the way, the Lemos children -- John Marshall, Lina and Daniel -- have discovered a bird's nest, spotted caterpillars and they often pick up heart-shaped flower pedals that fall off rose plants that jut out from a neighbor's fence on Judson Road.

Jon Wheeler, who walked his sons Jack and Connor to school, said such walks get the "mind working."

In addition, he gets insight into his children's lives.

"I learn a lot in the morning," he said.

Editor's note: Pick up a copy of Friday's Fairfield Citizen to read more about Sherman School's "Walk A Student To School Day."