Students celebrate National Walk and Bike to School Week, get exercise and help environment

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - Wednesday is National Walk and Bike to School Week. Schools across northeast Ohio and the country are encouraging students to get active and switch up their morning routine. The effort is benefiting students and communities.

Parking at Roxboro Elementary in Cleveland Heights is in high demand for bicycle riders- still too young to get their license.

Pela Hadley and her father, Mike, like to jump on their bicycles when the weather warms up and ride to school.

"It's actually fun," Pela said. "We get to like race."

Roxboro Elementary has celebrated National Walk and Bike to School Week since it started in 2012.

"We live in the neighborhood," Mike said. "It's a great opportunity to ride bikes. It's a beautiful spring morning."

It's a chance for conversation and extra exercise. Research shows children who have a healthy meal and get their heart rates pumping before school are better prepared to learn.

Walking and biking also helps the environment- causing less pollution and traffic congestion.

The effort also highlights work to make routes to school safer across the state of Ohio. Cleveland Heights has received about $750,000 in grant dollars to improve pedestrian crossings, sidewalks and intersections. Money has even gone to help schools install bike racks. It's part of the Ohio Safe Routes to School program. The work in Cleveland Heights is being done in phases over the next few years.

About 20 students bike to Roxboro on a regular basis. Leaders are seeing the numbers jump and have even installed new bike racks.

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