SAUK RAPIDS -- About 50 to 100 kids from Pleasantview Elementary walked or biked to school this morning (Wednesday) as part of National Bike or Walk to School Day.

Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools, Sauk Rapids Police Department and Better Living Exercise and Nutrition Daily (BLEND) were promoting the Safe Routes to School initiative.

It's a federally funded program that aims to improve the safety conditions for students who walk or bike to school.

to BLEND, in 1969 about 48 percent of students ages five to 14 walked or biked to school. In 2009 the percentage of walkers and bikers dropped to 13 percent.

Jodi Gertken is the BLEND coordinator for the CentraCare Health Foundation. She says the grant they received will help pay for traffic calming measures.

Today marked the first event of the collaborative partnership. A speed stop was posted near Pleasantview Elementary to remind drivers to slow down near the school zone.

Pleasantview Elementary Principal, Aby Froiland says the sign has helped decrease the number of speeders in the area.

Members of the Sauk Rapids Police Department were also on-hand to assist bikers and walkers to school.

The school district plans continue to host more events like this in the future.