Volunteers pedal books to schools

Pablo Chavez, 9, rode his bike to Fremont Elementary School on Wednesday as part of Bike to School Day. But, for him, it was nothing out of the ordinary.

“I do it every day,” he said. “I just love riding my bike.”

To kick up the celebration for Bike to School Day, volunteers with Safe Routes to School pedaled about 1,000 books to the school to distribute to students as part of the national Ride for Reading initiative.

Cyclists demonstrated bicycle safety and handed out pamphlets with safe riding tips as well.

“I think this is kind of cool,” said Lindsay Neagle, 10. “We’ve never done this before. We got to meet a lot of people who gave us books and taught us about bike training.”

Volunteer used backpacks and baskets to carry loads of books from the Carson City Health Division to the school Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s going to be a lot easier riding back,” said volunteer and school board trustee Joe Cacioppo, holding up his empty backpack.

Fremont Elementary School vice principal Dan Brown said the school had a record number of participants, with more than 30 students riding their bikes to school Wednesday.

“This is an awesome event,” he said. “We like to promote fitness and reading. And we had a lot of parents riding their bikes with their children, which was great to see.”

Cortney Bloomer, the western Nevada coordinator for Safe Routes to School, said books will be delivered to four elementary schools this week, coinciding with National Bike Month.

“This is a really touching event to be a part of,” she said. “To see the kids so excited about a book and physical activity makes it really worthwhile. I just couldn’t have asked for a better inaugural event.”

Stevi Simmons, 10, said now that the weather is getting nicer, she’ll be riding her bike to school more often.

“I’m going to ride it tomorrow,” she said. “I’ll probably start riding it every day. You just get out and get your exercise.”

And Jacqueline Casillas, 10, was inspired to give it a try.

“If we do it again, I want to join,” she said.


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