Bentonville Schools Compete for September Ride to School Prize
Competition to encourage healthy lifestyles and identify bicycle-related infrastructure needs around schools
With hundreds of bicycles on school campuses this year, Bentonville Schools is launching a competition called Bike Bentonville Schools. The effort aims to encourage healthy lifestyles among students in the Mountain Biking Capital of the World™.
The Bentonville school with the highest percentage of students riding bicycles to class between Sept. 1 and 30 will win a $5,000 grant to use in any way they decide.
”Anyone who drives through our town in the morning or afternoon knows traffic is tough,” said Bentonville Schools Superintendent Dr. Debbie Jones. “I’d love to see any student who can safely get to class on a bike embrace this movement.”
The competition will also identify bike-related infrastructure needs around the schools. The district is asking teachers to report back about these needs throughout the duration of the competition so that information can be shared with city planners. The end goal is less traffic, healthier lifestyles and safe bike paths for all students.
The school district has also connected with Pedal it Forward, a local nonprofit organization that gifts bicycles to families in need. They are prepared to help any students involved who would like a bike but are not in a position to buy one.
The local community recognizes that cycling offers many benefits for students, including reinforcing healthy living.
Benefits of cycling for students:
- Physical health
- Mental health
- Social health when cycling with peers
- Contributing to environmentally friendly transportation
“Riding a bicycle is a part of the culture here in the Mountain Biking Capital of the World™, and that includes our children,” said Gary Vernon, on behalf of Runway . “Engaging the next generation on two-wheels is a fantastic way to teach them about health, physical fitness and the rules of the road.”
The competition is a public-private partnership between Bentonville Public Schools and Runway Group, with philanthropic support from Steuart Walton and Tom Walton. In additional support of the competition, OZ Trails will donate 20 bike racks to schools across the district in September.
Parents, students and teachers who post about the competition on social media are encouraged to use #BvilleBikes2School.
About Bentonville Schools
Established in 1841, Bentonville Schools is the premier public school system in Arkansas serving more than 18,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Twenty-three schools, spanning more than 140 miles across Northwest Arkansas, call the district home. Bentonville Schools is critically acclaimed for its academics, arts and athletics and is committed to excellence through innovative, inspiring learning experiences. For more information, visit district.bentonvillek12.org.
About Runway Group
Runway Group is a holding company in Bentonville with a commitment to moving Northwest Arkansas forward. Steuart and Tom Walton started the Runway mission more than a decade ago to sustainably develop and transform the Northwest Arkansas region into a dynamic “lifestyle” metropolitan area. Runway’s focus areas include property development and management, outdoor and recreation investment, hospitality, and new ventures and investments.