Walk & Bike to School Day: 'Step towards making healthful choices'

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Walk & Bike To School Day events happened all over the nation Wednesday, and that included Roseburg.

Burt Tate from the Roseburg Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition said the kids get more than a little exercise when they walk or bike to school. "Walking is a good step towards making good healthful choices in life," he said.

Tate says that only about 12-15% of kids get to school under their own power.

He says health issues aren't the only problems linked to these numbers. "Kids don't learn street sense," Tate said. "They don't know what to do when they get out on the streets. So, it helps them to learn safety crossing crosswalks, getting around cars, watching for vehicles."

In the long run, walking or biking to school helps them be a little more mindful. "Just being a little more aware of their surroundings," said Tate.

Hundreds of Douglas County students helped the state beat its participation record for last year.

Steve Patterson, the Roseburg School Board chair, says the annual event has grown over the years. "I think it's become, from a grassroots type initiative to a huge project, but the kids have a great time, they have fun and that's the most important thing," he said.