DEARBORN — Students at 10 selected Dearborn Public Schools will be able to participate in a “Walk and Roll to School” contest.
The contest will allow many elementary and middle school students to participate in a competition to earn a chance to win prizes by walking or riding their bikes to classes under a contest encouraging physical activity spearheaded by Michigan Safe Routes to School (SRTS).
The contest will begin Sept. 20 with a celebratory ceremony set for Friday, Oct. 29.
The program is made possible through a grant from the Michigan Fitness Foundation that was awarded after being pursued by a coalition of Dearborn institutions focused on children’s well-being.
The coalition comprises the city of Dearborn, Dearborn Public Schools, Beaumont’s Healthy Dearborn Coalition, the LAHC and the University of Michigan-Dearborn, which is the actual recipient of the grant and will administer the details.
The grant will be used to pay for prizes and stipends for physical education teachers and program coordinators.
Participating schools include McDonald Elementary, Salina Intermediate, Saline Elementary, Howard Elementary, Lindbergh Elementary, Oakman Elementary, Haigh Elementary, McCullough – Unis School, O.L. Smith Middle School and Whitmore-Bolles Elementary.
The schools selected were intended to represent all areas of the city and are in close proximity to the streets used for the Dearborn Healthy Streets program; and it is hoped that eventually all schools will have a chance to participate and students at any school can still take a shot at riding or walking.
“The ultimate goal is to encourage health and physical activity among our students,” said Ryan Lazar from the Dearborn Public Schools, who is helping coordinate the program. “An added benefit is that it alleviates vehicular traffic in areas around school, making the streets safer and less congested.”
Students participating will log how many days per week they walked or rolled to school and the school with the highest amount of participation among their students will be selected to win prizes.
One student from that school will be awarded a new bicycle, while a second school and student will be given the same prize selected at random.
Participation prizes such as helmets and water bottles will also be awarded. Bicycle racks will be provided to two schools based on need as well.
Those who cannot ride or bike to school can also qualify by engaging in those activities on their own time. Details on that portion are available at the individual schools.