Walk or Bike to School Day is Oct. 5
Have you noticed more kids bicycling to school this year, and more parents or siblings walking to school with younger children?
Since fall 2010, Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) has been working with schools to promote Walk or Bike to School Day twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring. This year’s fall event will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 5.
For several years, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District has listed the two Walk or Bike to School Days on its calendar. Initially, HBC produced flyers for elementary and middle schools to distribute to families. For the past couple of years, the City of Cleveland Heights has produced the flyers for the schools, thanks to a grant from the Safe Routes to School program.
These concerted efforts are beneficial for our children. Kids need 60 minutes of exercise each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Walking or biking to school can help give kids the exercise they need for good health. Exercise is especially important for the 17 percent of U.S. children aged 2–19 who are obese, with all of the grave, long-term consequences obesity entails. But all kids need the exercise, because research indicates that kids who get exercise on the way to school arrive more ready to settle down and learn. Walking or biking to school is good for academic reasons.
Going to school on foot or by bike can also reduce the traffic congestion and air pollution that motorized vehicles cause around schools.
Active modes of transportation can build community and neighborhoods, as kids and adults come together for this purpose. Adult involvement especially can add eyes on the street. Walking to school can be a chance for kids to form friendships or for quality time with a parent.
Walk to School Day is celebrated internationally in the fall. Bike to School Day is a national event in the spring. We encourage both bicycling and walking to school in the Heights—both contribute to our quality of life.
Heights Bicycle Coalition
Heights Bicycle Coalition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to encouraging Heights community members to use bicycles. Mary Dunbar, president of HBC and a member of CH City Council, wrote this column.