An event Wednesday encourages students and families to embrace healthy habits and neighborhood safety while building a sense of community.

Thousands of students from over 200 schools along with their parents, teachers, and community leaders will join others around the country for Bike to School Day this Wednesday. The event is organized by the Michigan Fitness Foundation’s Safe Routes to School program and celebrates the benefits of cycling. The international movement and now a federal program—to make it safe, convenient, and fun for children, including those with disabilities, to bicycle and walk to school. Safe Routes To Schools initiatives are said to help ease traffic jams and air pollution, unite neighborhoods and contribute to students’ readiness to learn in school.

MDOT’s Office of Economic Development Administrator Mike Kapp says when families have safe routes to travel, they can incorporate more physical activity into their daily commute, whether to school, work or for fun. He says by having a day dedicated to biking to school, they can show families what’s possible in their community. Details about Bike to School Day can be found through the link. (JM)