Kids encouraged towalk, bike, or bus to school next week

JACKSON, Wyo.  – Forget iPhones and iPads. Next week, local students spend their mornings looking up and at their surroundings as they walk, bike, or ride the bus to school.

Friends of Pathways’ semi-annual iWalk, iBike, iBus to School Days are next Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 18-19.

Colter Elementary, Jackson Elementary, Jackson Hole Middle School and Summit High School will participate on Wednesday, Sept. 18. Wilson Elementary will participate on Thursday, Sept. 19. Both days, all participants will get fresh fruit from Smith’s Food & Drug, plus stickers and bicycle pins from Friends of Pathways.

Each day is an opportunity to teach kids about safe walking and cycling along Teton County’s busy roadways, and encourage active and sustainable lifestyle choices at a young age. It also serves as a lesson that alternative transportation choices are fun, healthy and can reduce traffic congestion, especially the long line of idling cars at school drop-off and pick-up.

“If you’re in the habit of driving your kids to school you may not be doing them much of a favor,” said Amy Golightly, Communications Director for Friends of Pathways. “Although it may seem like you’re saving them from a trudge to school, multiple studies have shown that children who get a little morning exercise and transport themselves to school by walking or biking have significantly better concentration that lasts for about  four hours into the school day.”

Other benefits of walking or biking to school include a stronger connection to the community and the natural surroundings as well as a taste of independence.

Drivers are asked to be extra cautious of kids making their way to and from school during these events.

A few tips for a successful day:

  • Dress appropriately for a cool morning.
  • Always wear your helmet!
  • Communicate with your family about where to meet at the end of the school day and then stick with the plan.
  • Safety check your bike before leaving home.

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