Students and parents from the Newton County Theme School at Ficquett (NCTS) are getting their bicycles ready for an after-school event that will promote a healthy school atmosphere, both for people and the environment.
“Bike the Trail” will take place at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7, which is National Bike to School Day. Participants will bike or walk from NCTS to the Eastside Trail, located behind Chimney Park and the Covington Branch Library, taking part in National Bike Month, coordinated with the League of American Bicyclists.
“We hope the ‘Bike the Trail’ event will be a fun way for Newton County Theme School students and families to be physically active, learn about bicycle and pedestrian safety and enjoy the outdoor parks and trails within our community,” said Brittany Bingeman, Newton County School System School Nutrition Program wellness coordinator, in an email.
After cars and buses clear the area, students and parents will begin at NCTS and walk or bike down Newton Drive toward Chimney Park, which is located off Ramsey Drive. The Covington Police Department and Newton County Sheriff’s Office will monitor the event. In preparation for the event, the Covington Fire Department plans to conduct three one-hour bicycle safety sessions on Monday, May 5 and Tuesday, May 6 for NCTS students by grade level.
Once at the park, walkers and bikers will have the option to continue along the Eastside Trail, participate in a scavenger hunt in the park, eat provided healthy snacks and enter a raffle.
The NCSS School Nutrition Program, NCTS faculty and Eastside High School faculty and students have worked with several community organizations – including Newton Trails, the Newton County Board of Commissioners and Friends of Newton Parks – to plan the event. In future years, the committee plans to include students from other Newton County schools in the “Bike the Trail” event, according to an NCSS press release.
NCTS was the first Newton County school chosen to participate in the event because of the proximity of the school to the Eastside Trail entrance, according to the press release, and a factor in National Bike to School Day is the presence of safe bicycle routes.
National Bike to School Day is an extension of International Walk to School Day, which occurs in October, according to the release.
The first National Bike to School Day took place during National Bike Month – May – in 2012 and included 950 local events in 49 states, according to the WalkBike to School website. In 2013, more than 1,700 schools participated.
Both events were established to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety, concern for the environment, community engagement and physical activity. The “Bike the Trail” event incorporates those goals with a local aim for students to enjoy the newly constructed Eastside Trail, the release said.
“Encouraging students to participate in physical activity and utilizing community resources to provide physical activity opportunities are two objectives included in the NCSS Wellness Plan,” according to the release, “a district plan that is intended to create healthier school environments for students.”
The release mentioned a recent report from the GENYOUth Foundation that indicates students who engage in greater amounts of physical activity are more likely to maintain a healthy weight and show improved academic performance, especially in reading, math and spelling tests.
For more information on or questions about “Bike the Trail” contact Brittany Bingeman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (770) 784-4966.