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This week's healthy schools highlights

Poudre elementary school says “no” to cars

Teachers and students at Laurel Elementary School of Arts and Technology are hoping for a car-free parking lot on Thursday, May 12, challenging everyone to find a way to school other than in a car.

Students, parents, teachers and staff are encouraged to explore “active” transportation by using non-motorized means to get to school. A walking school bus, built from cardboard, will meander through the neighborhood collecting children and deliver them to the school at 8:45 Students riding bikes will meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Fort Collins Public Library and ride a bike-to-bike train from the library, 200 Matthews St., to Laurel, 1000 E. Locust. Children who usually ride a bus to school on ordinary days will walk to school under the supervision of teachers.

“We are excited to be the first PSD school to attempt a car-free, bike-and walk to school day,” said Tommi Sue Cox, Laurel principal. “Encouraging active transportation for our students is consistent with our wellness initiative.”

Thirty years ago, more than 66 percent of American children walked to school. Today, only 13 percent of children walk or bike to school. Most children do not get the recommended amount of physical activity each day, and nearly a third of children are overweight. Walking or biking to school is a great way to meet the exercise requirement.

“I want families to realize that they can get to school safely without driving,” said Bevin Barber-Campbell, the bike to school parent champion at Laurel. “The next generation needs to think outside the box about transportation, for their health and the health of the planet.”

Barber-Campbell also emphasized how much she enjoys the quality time with her children while walking to school together.

“It is one of my favorite times of the day with my kids.”

For information, check out the National Center for Safe Routes to School.

Denver students to get free bikes & learn to garden

Fourth-grade students at Smith Renaissance School of the Arts will each receive a free bike Saturday from the Park Hill Bike Depot. Students will also get free helmets, bike locks and three weeks of classes on bike safety, healthy lifestyles, and wellness through the partnership with Bike Depot.

The same day, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Smith students will celebrate their “Garden Day” and plant new seeds and vegetable plants in the school garden. More than 24 DPS schools have their own school gardens, which are maintained by students and staff.

Johnson and Wales University will be supporting Smith students with volunteers, new soil, and seedlings. Johnson and Wales students will also be doing chef demos. Noodles and Co. will be providing lunch. Whole Foods will provide healthy snacks and water, and ModMarket will give out healthy snacks and hold chef demos.

The school is located at 3590 Jasmine St.

Poudre School District holds triathlon

Individuals, groups, teachers, parents and families who are directly connected to PSD are invited to join a district-wide triathlon, which begins at 7 a.m., Saturday, May 14, at Eudora Pool Ice Center, 1801 Riverside Ave.

The non-timed triathlon starts with a 400 meter swim at EPIC, followed by a 12-mile bike ride, and a 3-mile jog that winds through town. The triathlon costs $20 for individual competitors, and is not associated with the city triathlon scheduled the next day.

For more information, contact Mike Dyer, Rocky Mountain High School teacher at 970-488-7131 or at mdyer@psdschools.org.

Boulder Valley students battle it out for school lunch billing

The food lab at Broomfield High School was temporarily transformed Wednesday into Kitchen Stadium — the fabled arena of the Food Network’s popular cook-off TV series “Iron Chef” — as teams of Boulder Valley School District students crossed ladles in the district’s second annual cooking challenge. Read more in the Daily Camera.

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