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Kids ride to school the old-fashioned way - on bikes

May 9, 2013
 

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Holly Hintz and her children, Alec and Caitlyn, ride bicycles to Valley View Elementary School in Ashwaubenon while participating in the National Bike to School Day, Wednesday, May 8, 2013. / H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette Media
Second grade student Grace Brergner walks her bicycle through a crosswalk at Valley View Elementary School in Ashwaubenon while participating in National Bike to School Day, Wednesday, May 8, 2013. / H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette Media

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Hundreds of local students pedaled their way to school Wednesday as part of National Bike To School Day.

Not long ago, walking or biking to school was the norm, according to Live54218, a nonprofit that promotes healthy lifestyles in Brown County. But the percentage of children biking and walking to school has declined from 50 percent to about 15 percent in the past 30 years, according to the organization.

Almost half of students receive rides to school from parents, and most others are bused. The purpose of National Bike to School Day — recognized Wednesday — is to start to reverse these trends, Live54218 officials said.

Bike to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for bicycling and walking and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, reducing traffic congestion and concern for the environment, they said.

“Beginning the day with a healthy activity like biking and combining it with bicycle safety education is an excellent way to start the school day and kick off the spring and summer months,” Green Bay School District Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld said in a news release. “We applaud the efforts of Live54218 and will continue to join all of Brown County encouraging students and staff to walk and bike to school and stay active throughout the year.”

National Bike to School Day is just one part of a Safe Routes to School program, Live54218 noted. Safe Routes to School is an international movement that promotes walking and biking to school in order to improve health, safety and the environment.

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