Written by Phil Cerroni
By Sissy Courtney
Students walked, students rolled, students scooted their way to Wilson Elementary School Friday morning Nov. 9. The event was the school’s way of saying, “Exercising is FUN!”
“I love it,” said Lisa Mathis, who has a first grader and a fourth grader who rode their bikes to school. “It was something our family looked forward to enjoying together. We got up a little early so we could enjoy the weather. It’s a great event for us.”
She said they would absolutely do it again.
“We did not have very many cars through the car line this morning, and the weather was perfect, said Cindy Hendricks, a PTO volunteer on the Health & Wellness Committee.
Anita and Paresh Patel, who normally drive through the car loop, parked their vehicle a block away and got their children’s bikes out of the car to allow them to ride their bikes to school.
“It was the most awesome thing,” Ms. Patel said. “I wish they’d do this every week because we don’t get a chance to ride a bike to school because we’re a bit further out. We drove over by Freeport Parkway and walked over here.”
Mr. Patel said he worries about safety because of traffic and the lack of sidewalks between their house and the school.
“If we had more sidewalks, maybe we would walk more often,” Patel said. “We don’t have any sidewalks on Coppell Road. That is very important. Even on Bethal Road. They did expand the roads but not for sidewalks. Even where there is a side walk, the kids are struggling for spaces.”
The school stresses that students should look right, look left, and look right again before crossing streets.
Teachers and parents volunteered as safety patrol and cheered on bikers and walkers while maintaining safe surroundings for their arrival at school.
“This is triple or quadruple the (usual) number of bikes today,” said Justin Keller, a Dad’s Club member. He helped students park their bikes as they arrived.
Teacher Tracie Smith was on duty at the car loop where parents drive up to drop off their children.
“I’ve always been impressed by how the kids follow the rules,” Smith said. “They walk their bikes on school property, they have helmets on, and they do a really good job.” She said she hopes the school promotes the bike-walk day again.
According to Principal Christopher Nester, the event was collaboration between the Health and Wellness Committee of PTO and the Green Team Campus Committee.
“It was amazing seeing the fewer amount of cars we have in the parking lot and the bike rack is absolutely packed,” Nester said. “With teachers coming up and parents coming up with large groups of students, hopefully, we made an impact on the kids this morning by them seeing the environmental difference it can make in energy savings.”
Dona Head, said she and her children bike and walk nearly every day because they live close to the school. She agreed they get good exercise, save some gasoline and have good family time on their way to school.