By: Gerry Moore, Principal, Longfellow Elementary School—
There is an African adage that states, “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” This statement was put into action in a unique way last month for Longfellow Elementary students.
Bright and early on Wednesday, May 25, volunteers from a bevy of community organizations gathered at four locations in the Whitely neighborhood to show our students that walking and biking to school can be fun ways to promote fitness and healthy living. Students walked and biked with parents and volunteers, including Muncie’s very own mayor, Dennis Tyler and Muncie police officers. They were given reflectors, bike helmets, zone bags, wrist bands, and information about walking and biking safety. Charlie Cardinal, Muncie firefighters, and volunteers celebrated and cheered as students approached the entrance to Longfellow. The energy and excitement was palpable!
Healthy living is essential to overall joy and happiness; these events have created another level of interest for Longfellow students, teachers, and staff. Their success has led to the creation of two more bike/walk events next school year.
It was our privilege and honor to partner with so many organizations and individuals in our community who care deeply about our students. That care was felt by children and parents alike; after the event, one mother shared that she was moved to tears by this special opportunity for her child.
Many thanks to the City of Muncie, Muncie Bike/Ped Initiative, Delaware-Muncie Metropolitan Plan Commission, Ball State Athletics and the Office of Community Engagement, Cardinal Greenway, Whitely Community Council, and IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital for their contributions to our students.