Friday is Earth Day and for kids in the Boulder Valley School District it is Walk and Roll Day! and for some schools this is a week long event with Friday being the big day. If the name doesn't say it all, Walk and Roll is a day/week where kids are encouraged to learn a life skill and find green/healthy options to arrive at school, like by bike. Heatherwood Elementary school has been running a Walk and Roll campaign for the last 4 years and every year they have seen substantial growth in the number of kids participating.
For the Heatherwood kids and some other schools in BVSD, Walk and Roll is one day out of the entire school year for walking and biking and many schools tie this into their already running school year long Safe Routes to Schools program. Kids at Heatherwood Elementary receive recognition and awards for 5, 30 and 100 days of walking or biking and over 40 kids have already logged 100 days of biking or walking! Have you commuted by bike half as much since September? Who is really the teacher here?
This year Heatherwood Elementary received a Safe Routes to Schools mini grant to help kids with Autism join in on the Walk and Roll week. To make this possible they will be teaming up will Assisted Cycling Tours who has a fleet of tandems specially equipped for people with autism and they are located right here in the Denver area!!!
As part of the grant Heatherwood purchased 2 Sun 20" Trikes and a special Weehoo trailer (also made right here in Colorado!) which the school can use to help teach these kids a very valuable life skill.
Sun's Traditional 20" Trikes
Brandon Dwight of Boulder Cycle Sports, one of the sponsors of the event, will join the kids on the ride to the school. For many this is a very special event because many have never had the luxury of ever having ridden a bike!
Multi National Champion, Brandon Dwight and
Owner of Boulder Cycle Sport
Photo Credit: Michael Robson
As the one of the owners of 303cycling and the author I have the luxury of saying special thank yous to all of the sponsors in this event and a special thanks to my lovely wife who has worked countless hours on Walk and Roll and the special SRTS mini grant event. Thanks Amy, you are inspiring!
Below is the full Press Release sent out by the Boulder Valley School District on their Walk and Roll Event
On BVSD Bike to School Day, April 22, the entire school community is invited to participate by walking, cycling or bus riding. The third annual event ushers in the spring cycling season and promotes physical activity, health, and environmental awareness to all BVSD students, staff, and parents.
“We hope Bike to School Day will give more students, parents and staff the encouragement to try biking to school and see how enjoyable it can be to start the day with a pleasant bike ride or walk through their neighborhood,” said Landon Hilliard of the BVSD Transportation Department. Hilliard promotes walking and biking to school through the district’s Safe Routes to School Program which is noted as a model in the United States.
Bear Creek Elementary students, parents, and staff will be celebrating completion of a Safe Routes to School project as part of Friday’s event. Crosswalk improvements at the intersection of Table Mesa and Lehigh drive s now make walking and cycling to school safer and more convenient.
Heatherwood Elementary School is partnering with Assisted Cycling Tours, a non-profit organization that takes kids with disabilities and their families on bike trips, to start the first Safe Routes to School program in Colorado for kids with disabilities.
“Over the last few years, Heatherwood has had a remarkable level of walking and cycling, consistently one of the highest performing schools in the county.” said Amy Thompson, Heatherwood’s Safe Routes to School volunteer coordinator. “Adding our kids with disabilities this year just seemed to be the right step forward for our program.”
Heatherwood’s Bike to School Day ride will begin at a neighborhood park on Friday morning. Assisted Cycling Tours will provide tandems for the kids to ride the day of the event. Seven children with disabilities will participate with family members and school parents to help them ride in to the school that morning.
“Our kids are excited to ride and their parents are excited for them to have this opportunity”, said Sylvia Parga-Ray, a Heatherwood Elementary Special Education teacher. “We’re fortunate to have a supportive community to help us do this program.”
BVSD students and staff are encouraged to register online at bvsd.org/toschool through April 22. Those who do will receive a free school lunch, compliments of the School Food Project, coupons to local stores, and a chance to win prizes. A grand prize of a RUSH Smoothie Party goes to the winning school with the highest level of participation of students and staff.
“Promoting health awareness and encouraging individuals to exercise is part of our common goal of better health,” said Bob Jamieson, Benefits Director for BVSD Human Resources. “When employees are healthier, our students are better served and our future healthcare costs are more manageable.”
Thank you to our sponsors and partners: BVSD Transportation Department, BVSD School Food Project, Cat-Eye, Community Cycles, Full Cycle, Rush Naturally Enlightened, Sports Garage, and the parent volunteers of the BVSD Safe Routes to School Program.