The students of La Crescent-Hokah School District are about to get their walk on.
National Walk or Bike to School Day encourages students ranging from elementary school to 12th grade, to walk or bike to school on Wednesday.
“I think the reason behind it is that we want kids to be safe and healthy,” said La Crescent-Hokah Elementary Principal Jeff Copp. “As a long-term idea, walking to school or riding bike will help kids learn healthy lifestyles. It’s about going out and getting out as much as they can of the experience.”
Organized by La Crescent-Hokah Technology Integrationist and bicyclist Jason Ludwigson, the day will include prizes, snacks and walking school buses (a group of children walking to school with one or more adults).
“My role was to register the school for the event and planning includes setting up the walking routes, recruiting volunteers and getting prizes,” Ludwigson said. “If students walk they can advocate for improved biking and pedestrian signs, pedestrian crossings and roadway markings in the city and at the schools.”
All grades are welcomed to participate in the national activity day, the prizes and designated walking routes will focus on elementary-aged children.
“In the past we had sports teams or Lancer leaders assist with the day,” Copp said. “Anyway to connect the elementary school with the secondary school in positive way helps unify the student body and helps them make healthy choices.”
Although Copp normally drives to school, he will try his hand at biking alongside the other students participating.
La Crescent-Hokah School District has tried to make itself more active in the past few years.
“The staff wellness committee supports activities for staff, both school buildings have added many bicycle racks to support students biking to school, and we hold Jump Rope for Heart each year,” Ludwigson said. “It is important that our schools show that we support students’ wellness and physical fitness.”
About 695 students out of the district are scheduled and assigned to take the school bus, while about 737 students either walk, bike or drive/get driven to school.
“The majority of students riding a school bus are in grades kindergarten to ninth grade,” Ready Bus Line Co. Manager Dan Krueger said. “I believe this is a great day. Students being more active is important and gives them time to think about their day. I believe it is a better start to their day compared to being dropped off at school.”