Kids & Co students, along with physical education teacher Kim Pierson and Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) coordinator Tracy Gilsvik, finally got some kid-created, colorful, temporary sidewalk stickers in place by Two Harbors' Minnehaha Elementary School on Monday, Aug. 12, that encourage walking and wheeling to school.

This project to create engaging signage along a route for students started over a year ago with the support of local law enforcement, SHIP, the City of Two Harbors and school staff, according to a release from Lake County. Within that time:

  • Arrowhead Regional Development Commission created an easy-to-navigate safe route.
  • Students learned about the benefits of walking and “wheeling” (some people get around by wheelchair, bike, scooter and other modes).
  • A Minnehaha sidewalk sticker art contest was held; all the students got to vote on their favorite; and the winning design was reproduced in sticker form and then never got out on the sidewalks.

The winter left ice and snow for a long time. A planned day to adhere stickers in May was interrupted by another snow day, but they’ll be out for the upcoming school year.

Minnehaha Elementary students voted on their favorite "Safe Route to School" sticker design. The stickers were recently placed around the school. (Photo courtesy of Tracy Gilsvik)
Minnehaha Elementary students voted on their favorite "Safe Route to School" sticker design. The stickers were recently placed around the school. (Photo courtesy of Tracy Gilsvik)

Why encourage kids to walk and bike to school?

  • Students arrive alert and able to focus on school.
  • They are more likely to be a healthy body weight which supports overall health.
  • Students are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety when they get this regular form of physical activity.
  • Students who walk and bike to school demonstrate improved test scores and better school performance.
  • Kids will also remind you that walking and biking supports clean air and reduces traffic on our streets.
  • It can be kind of fun.