Kids can bike to school for bike to work week

By Contributor
May 6th, 2014

All aboard for better health!

In an effort to promote exercise and healthy lifestyles for local kids, Interior Health public health nurse Heather Shilton is working with local elementary schools and community partners to start a Bicycle train for Grand Forks students.

The goal is to have as many students from Hutton Elementary School and Perley Elementary School riding their bikes to school starting May 26 (the beginning of National Bike to Work Week) until the end of the school year.

Each day, the Bicycle Train would start with a few students furthest from the schools and add more students along the route, just like a train adding on train cars.

“We’re hoping for great participation. This is about having fun and getting our local young people thinking about healthy choices,” says Shilton. “Bicycle Trains benefit students by starting their day off with moderate exercise, a proven way to kick start their brains and promote learning. Cycling also strengthens their bodies and helps them learn important road safety skills. Cycling is a form of active transportation which can improve the quality of the air we breathe by reducing vehicular emissions.”

A specific route will be developed depending on participation, consisting of established meeting points, specific times for the bus, and a particular list of children involved with volunteer leaders assigned to lead the train.

In addition to partnering with the local schools and School District 51, ICBC, Grand Forks Cycling Club and volunteers have all been recruited to support the bike train.

Students will need to have a bicycle and wear a bike helmet to participate. They will also need to participate in bicycle safety instruction.

“Obviously, we have to make sure safety comes first with anything involving students, so a lot of work has gone in deciding the route for the train and ensuring we have adults on hand to get the train safely to the schools,” says Shilton.

Participation in the bike train will be evaluated at the end of the school year to see how successful the project has been. Shilton hopes the bike train will turn into an annual event for local students.

If parents are interested in having your child participate or would like more information, please contact one of the following:

Marci Butler, Principal of Hutton Elementary School 250-442-8275

Bob Chapman, Principal of Perley Elementary School 250-442-2135

Heather Shilton, PHN 250-443-3170 (work) 250-442-2663 (home)

— submitted

Categories: GeneralHealth

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