Category: Good Advice (page 1 of 9)

Are You Walking or Biking To School October 5th?

Lawrence / Douglas County's Fall Walk / Bike to School Day Is October 5th

Lawrence / Douglas County’s Fall Walk / Bike to School Day Is October 5th

Below is is a repost from a  Lawrence’s Well Commons article dated 9/27/16
Lawrence-area students are once again dusting off their walking shoes in preparation for this fall’s annual Walk to School Day.

Slated for Oct. 5, the global event encourages kids — and their parents — to walk or bike to school on a designated day each year. All Lawrence elementary schools — with the exception of Pinckney, which has moved students to Lawrence’s East Heights School while undergoing renovations — are participating in this year’s local celebrations, says Michael Showalter, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department’s health promotion specialist.

The health benefits of walking, he says, are obvious. In addition to spurring more physical activity overall in kids, studies link walking with helping to maintain healthy weight, blood pressure, and bones, muscles and joints, Showalter said.

There’s also, he said, the promise of social interaction that kids won’t find in a car commute.

“It’s about togetherness and connecting with your community and your friends,” says Showalter, who also coordinates the Health Department’s Safe Routes to School program.

He has seen plenty of groggy kids in school parking lots rolling themselves out of Mom’s car in the same way they’d sluggishly roll themselves out of bed in the morning. Walking, Showalter says, wakes students up, creating a mindset that is ready to engage in learning.

Last year, “we had over 3,000 students,” mostly at the elementary-level, participate in Walk to School celebrations in Lawrence, he says. This year, the Health Department and its partners are widening their scope to Eudora Elementary School, where kids will end their walking journey to school after meeting first at the Eudora Public Library and using the new shared-use path that runs behind the school.

In Lawrence, Sunset Hill Elementary School is offering muffins and juice for walkers, while Langston Hughes Elementary School is celebrating with music and prizes. New York Elementary School students are invited to meet staff and Principal Nancy DeGarmo at Hobbs Park (702 E. 11th St.) at 7:30 a.m. for an en masse walk down 11th Street and eventually New York Street to the school.

Local Walk to School Day events are coordinated in partnership the Health Department’s Safe Routes to School program, with the city of Lawrence, the LiveWell Lawrence coalition, Lawrence Public Schools and the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization.

“What we really want to impart to community members and students is that walking and biking is fun. And it’s easy,” Showalter says. “And the more you do it, the more fun you have and the easier it becomes.”

Showalter encourages parents to reach out to their schools for more information, or to contact him directly at 843-3060 or mshowalter@ldchealth.org. Schools are also posting Walk to School Day events at www.walkbiketoschool.org.

 

What are you doing for Bike Month?

bike-month-2016May is designated as National Bike month each year.  Several community organizations in the Be Active Safe Routes community partnership are working with the city to encourage everyone to get out and bike around town this month (and every month). Here are some ways to get out and celebrate Bike Month:

  • National Bike to Work Week is May 16-20. Try bicycling to work and encourage your co-workers to do the same.
  • Lawrence is participating in the National Bike Challenge – a nationwide event to unite thousands of current bicyclists and encourage new riders. Sign up at www.nationalbikechallenge.org to join the challenge to track your miles or sign up a team to compete with your friends, family or co-workers.
  • Take a ride with the City Commissioners on Tuesday, May 17.  Meet at City Hall at 4:30 to take a quick ride around town to celebrate National Bike Month.
  • Take the Confident, Capable Commuters Class through Lawrence Parks and Recreation. Learn how to ride safely in traffic, basic bike maintenance and much more.  Contact smason@lawrenceks.org or call (785) 832-7950 for more information and class times.
  • Sign up for the week-long Youth Cycling Camp through Lawrence Parks and Recreation in June.
  • The Lawrence Public Library’s Summer Reading program is encouraging people to participate in Bike Middle Earth – a fun way to combine your love of reading with staying healthy.  Find out details on the program at www.lawrence.lib.ks.us/walkingtorivendell/ and log your miles to Middle Earth.
  • Tune up your bike at a free bike stand around Lawrence. There are four locations now with five more planned soon.
  • Track your routes ahead of time by using the city’s online Bicycle Rideability Map or pick one up at City Hall, KU Parking and Transit, Cycleworks, Sunflower Outdoor and Bike Shop or Ambler Student Recreation Center.
  • Take your bike on the bus – by combining transit and bicycling, you can get farther in Lawrence without using your personal car and saving that gas money for something else.

Lawrence Parks and Rec to Offer Youth Cycling Camps

Lawrence Parks and Rec Summer Bike CampLawrence Parks and Recreation Department is offering youth the opportunity to be physically active throughout the afternoon, as well as learn bicycle safety through its new summer camp offering Youth Cycling Camp.

This week-long camp will provide participants with the opportunity to explore some of Lawrence’s parks through bike rides. Camp will be headquartered in Hobbs Park, 702 E. 11th St., and travel will be done on sidewalks and there will be a focus on safe riding and street crossing to other community parks where children will participate in games and craft activities.

Youth Cycling Camp is open to children eight years-old to 12 years-old and is being offered noon – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, June 6-10 and June 20-24. Cost is $90 per child, per week.

All participants must provide their own bike and helmet. In the event of inclement weather, camp will be held at East Lawrence Recreation Center, 1245 E. 15th St.

To register online, please visit: http://lprd.org/activity?n=3257000 or visit any Parks and Recreation facility, including: Sports Pavilion Lawrence, 100 Rock Chalk Lane; the Community Building, 115 West 11th St.; East Lawrence Recreation Center, 1245 East 15th St.; Holcom Park Recreation Center, 2700 West 27th St.; Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center, 4706 Overland Drive, Prairie Park Nature Center, 2730 Harper St. or the Administrative Offices, 1141 Massachusetts St.

For more information on the camp, please contact Stephen Mason, recreation center programmer, at (785) 832-7950.

Bike to School Day in Lawrence is May 4th!

header-biketoschoolThe Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department encourages students to walk or bike to school May 4 in celebration of National Bike to School Day. Walking and bicycling to school enables children to incorporate the regular physical activity they need each day while also forming healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

The Health Department, in collaboration with the City of Lawrence, Lawrence Public Schools, the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization and LiveWell Lawrence, is working to encourage families to walk or Qbike as part of “Be Active Safe Routes,” a community initiative to make it easier for people of all ages, ability, background and socioeconomic status to be more active.

Regular physical activity helps children build strong bones, muscles and joints, and it decreases the risk of chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. “Physical inactivity is at crisis proportions in America. In the coming decade, preventable chronic conditions are expected to overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death in Kansas,” Health Promotion Specialist Michael Showalter said. “The research is clear that students who walk or bike to school will be healthier and perform better in school.”

Lawrence middle and elementary school students, families and staff plan to participate in Bike to School Day. Schools also will be hosting special events like park-and-rides and bicycle rodeos. Lawrence-Douglas County Health Board members, Lawrence school board members, city commissioners and firefighters have been invited to join in the activities throughout Lawrence. Helmets should be worn at all times when riding a bike. Bicyclists should ride safely by following the rules of the road and obeying traffic laws. Young children should be accompanied by an adult.

Benefits of walking or biking include:

• Students who walk or bike to school are healthier.

• Research has shown exercise before school helps children arrive focused and ready to learn.

• Students who walk and bike frequently when they are young are more likely to continue these activities into adulthood.

• When walking or biking, parents and children get an opportunity to bond and appreciate things they don’t notice while driving — listening to the sounds of the neighborhood, seeing friends and neighbors and feeling connected with their community.

• Fewer cars on the road means less traffic and congestion and cleaner air.

Seven Neat Books About Bicycling for Kids

Below is a repost from Bicycle Times with 7 books for kids about bicycling.

Review: Seven bicycle-themed children’s books
Bicycle Times Magazine by Bicycle Times Magazine / March 15, 2016 8:25am

Words: Jeff Lockwood

This piece originally appeared in Dirt Rag Magazine in 2005. All of the books mentioned are still available.

We don’t watch much television in our house. In fact, by the time you read this, our daughter Kaya will be 2 years old [now 13!], and I can say with confidence that she’s probably watched a total of one hour of television since the day she was born. Instead of filling her head with the latest Disney tripe fed to us, she’s become very fond of books. We read to her before bed and throughout the day. While most children her age take dolls, stuffed animals or toys to bed, Kaya sleeps with books.

So recently, I went to Powells.com and took the plunge. I spent less than $100 on new and used books aimed at a variety of age groups and reading levels. As you’d expect, books aimed at children under 3 years old are mostly illustrated paperbacks with minimal words. And only a small subset of those is focused around a bicycle. Fortunately, I found books with some bright, exciting illustrations that caught the attention of Kaya. Some of the other books I purchased are aimed at a slightly older age group, and I also picked one book that’s a great resource for us parents. All prices listed are for new books.

Franklin Rides a BikeFranklin Rides a Bike
Author: Paulette Bourgeois
Illustrator: Brenda Clark
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
22 page paperback; $5

Franklin is a sad little turtle because he still relies on training wheels while the rest of his friends zoom through the woods training-wheel-free. With practice, determination and encouragement from his mom, Franklin soon loses the training wheels. Bright illustrations and brief text make this a good book to read to toddlers.

A Bicycle for RosauraA Bicycle for Rosaura
Author: Daniel Barbot
Illustrator: Morella Fuenmayor
Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Publishers
24 page paperback; $6

Señora Amelia decides to buy a bicycle for her hen, Rosaura, as a birthday present. Furthering the high-end frame builder stereotype, an eccentric man measures Rosaura for the perfect custom fit. And, amazingly, he actually delivers the bike on time. The story is short and to the point, the illustrations are soft and pleasant, and the book is best read to younger children.

Bicycle BookBicycle Book
Author: Gail Gibbons
Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
32 page hardcover; $17
Aimed toward roughly the third grade reading level, this book provides a wealth of bicycle information for young readers. Filled with large, descriptive and fun illustrations, this book quickly and painlessly presents children with the history of bicycles, basic functionality, types of bikes, uses, componentry, safety, simple bicycle care and fun facts.

Hello, Two-Wheeler!Hello, Two-Wheeler!
Author: Jane B. Mason
Illustrator: David Monteith
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
48 page paperback; $4
Short and simple sentences combined with exciting illustrations make this a good book designed for beginner-level readers. We follow a young boy frustrated that he’s still on training wheels. After deceiving his friends with excuses to get out of riding with them, he suddenly discovers that he can ride without the training wheels.

Go Fly A Bike!Go Fly A Bike!
Author: Bill Haduch
Illustrator: Chris Murphy
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books
83 page hardcover; $17
The subtitle of this book is “The Ultimate Book About Bicycle Fun, Freedom and Science,” and that’s a very accurate description. You and your children are going to get all kinds of useful, fun and interesting information here. Small, whimsical black and white illustrations throughout the book work well with informative sidebars and entertaining quotes.

Life is Like a Ten-Speed BicycleLife is Like a Ten-Speed Bicycle
Author/Illustrator: Charles Shulz
Publisher: Collins Publishers
32 page hardcover; $6
Linus has always been the most philosophical personality in the Peanuts gang, so he got his own book. Though only one of these black and white strips mentions a bicycle, it’s still a fun book for kids of all ages. Linus’ quote that “Life is like a ten-speed bicycle—most of us have gears that we never use.” alone is worth the price of admission.

Bicycling With ChildrenBicycling With Children: A Complete How-To Guide
Author: Trudy E. Bell with Roxana K. Bell
Publisher: The Mountaineers
221 page paperback; $15
Every parent, no matter the skill level, should buy and carefully read this book. Bell and her young daughter (the co-author) explore every important topic relating to children and bicycles: proper bicycles, riding with a baby, tandems, safety, purchasing a bike, bicycle maintenance and riding with children with special needs. There is also an exhaustive list of great resources.

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