Maybe you have noticed - and I hope that you have - that when school is out, there are kids all over the place. This summer, while I was riding my bike, a young girl on a pink bike proudly announced, “I ride a bike, too!” A few mornings later, while I was driving into town, a small group of lads on bikes stopped at the intersection and loudly requested my permission to cross. I happily granted the request and thanked them for asking.
But where do these kids disappear to once school starts? The kings and queens of summer are tamed back into cars and buses to get them to and from school. Why is there such disconnect between the summertime travel to a friend’s house or a park and the September to June daily commute to school?
Fortunately, there is Safe Routes to School. Safe Routes is a national organization with state-level chapters that work with schools on transportation plans, education and infrastructure to provide students with safe ways to walk and bike to and from school. A few schools in Rutland County already participate, but there’s room for more. And of course, good habits also start at home.
If your child's school is not currently a Safe Routes to School partner, ask his/her teacher or school administrator about it. Healthy habits, like walking or biking for transportation, start young. And with many of our youth living within walking or biking distance from school, it's a great opportunity to get moving!