Schools to promote safe walking and biking in October
Participants in the spring afterschool Fairfax Bike Club had so much fun that some are signed up for the fall edition, too.
Neighborhood schools are even stronger community assets when kids bike or walk to school. The benefits are many: less traffic congestion, healthy exercise, zero pollution and more independent kids. Though some children must ride buses, many live within a mile of school and can easily walk or bike there.
Oct. 3 is International Walk to School Day, and the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school district has a Walk or Bike to School Day on its calendar for that date. In addition, schools are offering activities throughout October to encourage safe walking and bicycling as a way of creating a supportive environment for healthy lifestyles.
To bolster such efforts, Clif Kids and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership provide schools with kits that contain a banner, educational materials, reflective stickers and 250 Clif Kid bars. This year, six district schools requested and received kits. They are Boulevard, Canterbury, Fairfax, Gearity, Roxboro Elementary and Roxboro Intermediate schools.
Meanwhile, other cycling-friendly initiatives are underway. The district is upgrading and adding more bike racks to meet growing demand. Building on the popularity of bike rodeos held in the spring at Gearity and Fairfax, Canterbury is planning one in October. And the Bike Club—featuring weekly, afterschool rides at Fairfax School in the spring—is being repeated at Fairfax this fall and expanded to Gearity.
Parents who would like to help expand bicycle activities at their children’s schools should contact Mary Dunbar, 216-321-1335.
Mary Dunbar is president of the Heights Bicycle Coalition and a member of Cleveland Heights City Council.