On October 7, Rumson families participated in the district’s first annual “Walk or Bike to School Day,” as the district partnered with the Rumson Police Department and PTO to encourage students to “walk or bike to ignite!” The tagline for the event promoted the district’s new branding message which was launched for the 2016 – 2017 school year, “Rumson Schools, Igniting Potential.”
Students who participated were greeted by Forrestdale and Deane-Porter staff members, awarded stickers as they arrived, and found their designated spot in the “Bike Parking Lot.” At the conclusion of the day, prior to the ride home, the PTO provided students with a healthy snack and reusable bottle water fill station.
In conjunction with the District Wellness Committee, the day was planned to promote student awareness about various topics, including:
● Community building
● Physical fitness
● Rules of the road and bike safety
● Air pollutants in the environment
Students and their families prepared for the event by:
● Decorating their bikes, creating a License Plate (using index cards and pipe cleaners).
● Planning a healthy breakfast with “food fuel” for the journey.
● Gathering the families in their neighborhood to ride or walk together. Students who did not live in walking or biking distance, asked a friend who is closer to park at their home and form a “Bike Train” and ride together.
● Making a map of the route to school, paying attention to crossing guard locations provided by the Rumson Police Department.
Patrolman Bryan Dougherty of the Rumson Police was out on his bike helping to recognize students for their bike safety skills and wearing their helmets properly. Dougherty also serves on the district Safety Team and noted, “Chief Paterson, Sgt. Ciambrone, and I all hope this initiative will encourage students to do this more often which should help decrease some vehicular congestion in the school zone. All in all we were glad to be out there with the children letting us interact with them in a friendly positive way.”
As Patrolman Dougherty stresses safety first with students, he urged parents to “please remember that the law requires anyone under 17 years of age that rides a bicycle or is a passenger on a bicycle, or is towed as a passenger by a bicycle must wear a safety helmet.”
The district is planning a spring “Bike to School Day” in conjunction with the Rumson Police Department’s annual Bike Rodeo.