More than 250 children and 80 adults participated among three pilot schools. These schools were Pinellas Central Elementary, Woodland Elementary in Pasco County, and Palmetto Elementary in Polk County. Support was also provided by local Fire and Police Departments, ensuring that children crossed streets safely as they traveled to school. All three schools saw an increase in the number of children who typically bike to school as well as those wearing bicycle helmets. For the children who participated, bicycle helmets were properly fitted and reflective wrist and ankle bands were given away, along with educational materials and healthy snacks.
Bike to School day also offered educators an opportunity to reinforce important health and safety messages, such as:
Proper signals for stopping or turning
Walk, don't ride your bike or scooter across a crosswalk
Listen and be aware of your surroundings
Be visible for motor vehicles
Physical activity can be fun and good for you
You can help improve air quality in your neighborhood by decreasing motor vehicle emissions
Biking to school is fun
In addition, two more schools will host Bike to School events on May 10th. They are Deer Park Elementary School in Pasco County, and Summerfield Crossings Elementary School in Hillsborough County. More than 100 children are expected to bike to school and will receive similar safety education.
Many thanks go out to participating school staff and volunteers for making the first National Bike to School Day a success! For more information about Safe Routes to School please visit www.allkids.org/srts.