Old school: Students learn benefits of walking, biking
Sarah Gomer, 10, knows it’s preferable to walk rather than drive.
“When gas comes out of cars, it’s polluting because it’s not good for the air,” she explained.
But because her parents work, she’s usually unable to walk to school. That’s why each year she joins in Nevada Moves Day, a statewide initiative to encourage students to walk or ride bikes to school.
“This is a one-time thing for me because I need a parent to walk with me,” she said. “I don’t want someone snatching me.”
Sarah joined dozens of students Wednesday morning who walked to Bordewich-Bray Elementary School from the Carson City Fire Station on Stewart Street.
Walking and bicycling to school events were also planned for Washoe, Lyon, Clark, Douglas and Lincoln counties, with 106 schools statewide committing to participate in Nevada Moves Day, organized through Safe Routes to School.
“We need exercise,” said Maryn Myler, 9. “This is a good thing so we can stay healthy.”
Bordewich-Bray Elementary School students were accompanied by local dignitaries, including Fire Chief Stacey Giomi and Susan Martinovich, director of the Nevada Department of Transportation, along with other volunteers.
“The Department of Transportation isn’t just cars and roads, it’s pedestrians and bicycles and Safe Routes to School,” Martinovich said. “I like reminding people of this side of it.”
Giomi has participated in the walk for several years and said Wednesday’s was one of the best.
“Every other year it seems like it’s been rainy or cold,” he said. “Today, the weather is gorgeous. It’s perfect. And it’s fun to see how excited the kids are.”
Principal Valerie Dockery led the walk, giving tips along the way about looking both ways before crossing the street and other safety measures. Children who were unable to walk to school were given the opportunity to make it up by walking two laps around the track.
“We want our students to get exercise and also to be safe while they’re doing it,” Dockery said. “It’s also just a great way to start the day.”
Sophia Cacioppo, 11, said the early-morning walk will better prepare her for her studies.
“Exercise helps you learn,” she said. “You need fresh air because you’re stuck in a classroom all day.”
Andrea Lathrop, 11, hoped it would give her greater focus as she and her classmates began taking the Criterion Reference Tests on Wednesday, those used to determine adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind mandate.
“It helps you concentrate,” she said. “And if you’re stressing out, you can just think of nature.”