School participates in statewide Walk + Bike Challenge

by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Lake Grove third-grader Finn McAuley rides his bike in style to school.Students statewide used their own two feet this month to trounce the myth that they don’t walk or bike to school anymore.

Lake Grove Elementary School students were rolling and strolling to class last week in honor of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s May Walk + Bike to School Challenge. At the end of the month, also National Bike Month, schools with the most bike rides and walks earn prizes.Lake Grove participated for one week only, but the school had its own incentives for children. The Parent Teacher Association offered a daily raffle for stickers and coloring books. A big raffle at the end of the week featured a bicycle helmet from the Bike Gallery and gift cards from businesses such as Albertsons, Babica Hen Cafe, Columbia Sportswear, Pine Shed Ribs & Barbecue, Pizza Schmizza and UU Yogurt.

“It’s just a way to encourage students and families to lead a happy, healthy lifestyle, and, also, it’s a way to get some info to the city of Lake Oswego as to how many kids walk and bike to school in the hopes that maybe there’d be improvements for bike safety and sidewalks,” Lake Grove parent Karen Chi said.

Chi said busy roads surround the school, and Boones Ferry Road can be dangerous, especially when children are arriving at school in the morning. A school crosswalk across Boones Ferry could help children safely arrive at school, she added.

During the event, Beth Otto, city sustainability intern, told families about the 100 Mile Challenge, an outreach program of the Lake Oswego Sustainability Advisory Board. Participants log 100 miles of car-free trips: biking, walking, taking the bus or even rowing across Oswego Lake. The challenge kicked off April 1 and finishes Dec. 31.

Otto said being at Lake Grove brought home the family aspect of biking and walking to school.

“It’s a great connection between parents and kids to commute to school actively,” Otto said. “It’s good for kids to start the day with a little bit of exercise. It helps them concentrate.”

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