Oct. 2 was not a great day to walk or bike to school as the rainy, windy and cooler September weather continued. However, that did not deter Brooklyn Center Middle and High School STEAM students from participating in International Walk to School Day.
In braving the elements, Centaur students took advantage of the opportunity to get a good morning workout and enjoy some fun with friends and classmates. Students, grades 6-12, sacrificed their routine warm and dry rides to school aboard BCCS school buses to walk or bike to the north campus (the senior and middle school building at 6500 Humboldt Ave. N.).
Walk to School Day is an international event celebrated in October each year. Thousands of communities across the country joined in the fun and safe Walk to School Day events that get families, faculty and community leaders walking together, while educating children and families about the benefits of walking. BCCS has participated in this event for several years. Regular school bus service was still operating for those students who opted to ride on this day.
“Walking or biking to school allows students to enjoy fresh air, spend time with friends, and get physical activity before the school day, all of which can help to increase focus and concentration during the school day,” said Michelle Auld, wellness coordinator for BCCS. “It was great to see the smiles on the students’ faces as (they) greeted each one and welcomed them to the school day. Many school, district and community roles were represented, showing support to our students and raising awareness about the benefits of Safe Routes to School. From City of Brooklyn Center, Mayor Elliott and School Board Chair Cheryl Jechorek to Superintendent Carly Baker and Principal Josh Fraser, our students witnessed the active interest of our community in their well-being.”
The Minnesota Department of Transportation predicted that more than 200 Minnesota schools and thousands of students would participate in this annual event, sponsored by Minnesota Safe Routes to School. More than 5,000 schools across the U.S. were set to participate before Oct. 10.
“Walking and bicycling safely is a critical life skill and Walk to School Day encourages students to use this knowledge throughout their lives,” said Dave Cowan, MnDOT Safe Routes to School coordinator. “Students and families can use their Walk to School Day event as an opportunity to get some fresh air while reaping the benefits of increased physical activity, reduced traffic congestion and arriving at school ready to learn.”
Rod Shilkrot is a contributing writer for Sun Newspapers.