Walk and Bike to School on Wednesday, May 6

Submitted by Healthy Bedford Coordinator Carla Olson

Healthy-Bedford-LogoWednesday, May 6, is Massachusetts Walk and Bike to School Day!  Families who wish to participate can check out their school newsletter or the Facebook page “Healthy Bedford” for details on how they can get involved.  Although the walking and biking events are fun and meaningful, it is important to emphasize that one of the primary goals of our partnership with the Safe Routes to School program is to increase student’s physical activity and reduce vehicular traffic around the schools on a regular basis.  For many families, walking and/or biking can be an option on non-event days as well.

Maybe you have heard the term “walking school bus” or “biking train,” in relation to our Safe Routes to School initiative but aren’t sure what it is or how it might work for your student?  Simply put, each involves a group of students walking or biking to school with one or more adults. It can be as informal as two families taking turns shepherding their children to school, to as structured as a route with meeting points, a timetable, and a rotating schedule of adult chaperones.

Bedford, along with hundreds of other schools in Massachusetts, has partnered with Safe Routes to School for many reasons.  Teachers and principals would like children to walk to school so that they arrive alert and ready to learn. School and law enforcement officials would like to reduce the congestion and safety risks posed by so many cars dropping off and picking up children at our schools each day. Public health officials want to reverse the alarming trends of childhood obesity and growing numbers of students not meeting minimum fitness standards. Walking and bicycling to and from school are ways to not only address these issues but also to nurture our children’s independence and to increase their “traveler skills set,” all while helping to establish healthy lifetime habits.

For more information on Safe Routes to School see:  https://www.commute.com/safe-routes-to-school/about or https://www.bedfordma.gov/healthy-bedford/pages/safe-routes-to-school   or contact Carla Olson:  healthybedford@bedfordma.gov

To see the fun Bedford students have had in previous Walk/Bike events check these links:

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