Students, staff and community members, along with volunteers from the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Project at Wayne State University’s Center for Urban Studies, took part in Bates Academy’s annual Ride Your Bike to School Day on Friday, October 17.
Bates has deemed the special day “Ride, Walk, Stroll to Bates Academy” and welcomed surrounding community members to take part by bike, foot or vehicle to advocate student safety. Parents and students met at All Saints Episcopal Church on Seven Mile Road just before sunrise with patrols from the DPS Police Department, City of Detroit, Sherwood Forest and University District.
Members of Bates’ Parent Advisory Council on Student Achievement and Principal Cleo Moody also took part in the event by riding alongside students. The AmeriCorps Urban Safety Project volunteers, who work to promote safety and community awareness within Detroit’s “Bike Watch,” were also present during “Ride, Walk, Stroll to Bates Academy” day. Bates’ parents and staff agree that physical fitness has a positive effect on a child’s ability to concentrate, reduces stress, improves cognitive function, and leads to an overall increase in student achievement.
The event took place one day after AAA of Michigan presented a check for more than $200,000 to the district to keep students safe while traveling to and from school. DPS and a host of agencies unveiled a comprehensive Safe Routes to School strategy focused on keeping all students safe through coordinated Safe Zones, volunteer vehicle patrols, prioritized street light replacement, blight removal around student walking routes, signage, Eyes & Ears Patrols and more at a Community Breakfast held at the Brightmoor Community Center.