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Mother, Safe Routes to School advocate, physical therapist assistant, and BikeTexas SafeCyclist-certified Sugar Land resident Nicole Volek started "Shape Up Sugar Land" to get her community active and moving. When Bike to School Day rolled around on May 17, she was ready.
Nicole worked with local police to organize safe routes for Fort Settlement Middle School students to get to school and arranged for a police escort on May 17. The students gathered at 7:30 AM at Memorial Park in Sugar Land to ride to school together in a celebration of a healthy lifestyle and the fun of riding a bike.
Nicole says, “We are proud of the students that woke up early to participate in this event. This event reduces pollution, and promotes health and wellness to all.” Next year, Shape Up Sugar Land plans to add another school and build on the momentum from this year's event as other students see how much fun it is to ride a bike to school.
Since 1991, nearly 8000 teachers, police officers, and other professionals who work with children have been trained in the BikeTexas SafeCyclist curriculum, which they've in turn taught to their students across Texas, reaching approximately 200,000 schoolchildren per year. In addition to training teachers, BikeTexas also offers a Safe Routes to School Event Manual, so you can plan your own bike or walk to school day, or even get up a bike rodeo with the children in your neighborhood. The Event Manual offers step-by-step instructions for a fun event.
Grab your manual now and start planning for International Walk to School Day on October 9! Twenty-three schools in Texas have events scheduled already-- will yours be next? There were 120 Texas Walk to School Day schools in 2012, so we expect to see the number grow as October gets closer.
Photo credit: Randy Kozlovsky
Students left to right: Chloe Gallegos, Bailey Rivenes, Jake Parker, Vivek Sinha, Shiv Chopra, and Kelly Eng, with Sugar Land Police Officers (l to r) Anthony Clarite, Neal Kym, Adam Williams and Richard Rivera
Editor's note: This article was updated on June 20th to change the number of teachers trained from 5000 to 8000. We apologize for the error.