Iowa Contest Encourages Kids to Walk or Bike to School

ALTOONA, Iowa -- Kids at Centennial Elementary School are participating in a challenge happening all across Iowa to encourage exercise in their daily routines.

Each participant got a punch card from the Iowa Safe Routes to School Program, through the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, and it’s punched every time they walk or ride their bike to school.

Many kids at Centennial already walk or bike when the weather is nice.

“We are fortunate enough to have a lot of kids that can walk and bike to school. When this contest came up I thought, ‘Awesome.’ Because they can realize how lucky they are. They might not feel like that, but that they get to walk and bike to school every day and then we can celebrate the exercise that they get every day,” Principal Lori Waddell said.

One family said they live three blocks away and already did this on a daily basis.

“It’s really easy for them to walk or bike or ride their scooters and they pretty much do that every day,” Kristin Dunwoody said.

Even kids who can’t walk or ride their bikes to school can participate in the contest.

“The only thing is we have a few bus riders and kids that live too far so they have to ride in a car. So we said that if you want to participate all you need to do is walk at recess and we will give you a punch too. So everybody can participate if they want to,” Waddell said.

Dunwoody’s kids, Wyatt, Klair and Hailey, said they love to walk and ride their bikes to school and they have a plan even when their mom can’t go with them.

“I’m in charge of my brother and sister when mom can’t go with us. So after school we meet at the bike rack and then once everybody’s here we leave,” Klair said.

The contest runs through May 5 and winners will get their prizes soon after.