HCPS, Harford County Health Department, and Healthy Harford partner to support bike to school program
It is believed that students who bike to school perform better on tasks requiring concentration than those who are driven to school. This early morning exercise has cognitive benefits that can last up to four hours into the school day, possibly resulting in better grades on tests and quizzes. It is also believed that children who begin biking or walking to school at an early age are also more likely to stay at a healthy weight during their early school years.
Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) has collaborated with the Harford County Health Department and Healthy Harford to promote and provide access for the biking to school program. Most recently, the multiagency effort resulted in using grant funds to construct a bike rack station at Edgewood Middle School.
Joe Harbert, supervisor of Elementary and Middle School Physical Education & Health for HCPS, said, “Grant opportunities like this allow us to install infrastructure such as paths and bike racks that support healthy and safe routes to our schools. We are fortunate to have this partnership.”
What makes this project even more special is the fact that the HCPS Facilities Department worked hand in hand with students from Harford Technical High School to construct the bike station.
Students and their teachers from the construction and masonry trade programs took a field trip to help on the project. The Harford Tech students were able to practice and demonstrate their skills on an actual jobsite while seeing the satisfaction of a project that benefits their community.
Andrew Cassilly, assistant supervisor of Resource Conservation/Utilities said, “Our Facilities crews are great about helping with these types of projects and they enjoy working with the students to show the skills of the trade.”
The 20’ x 15’ concrete pad holds a racking station that will allow 20 students to ride their bikes to school and secure them until the end of the day.
“This project is a dramatic improvement over our existing bike racks and has been a welcome addition. We are grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen,” said Ms. Melissa Williams, principal of Edgewood Middle School.