How geeked do elementary school kids can get about being on t.v. for riding their bikes? Answer: pretty flipping geeked.
That was the setting for a major funding announcement by the Cook County Department of Public Health. The Department was awarded $16 million in stimulus funds last Friday to fund efforts to combat obesity in suburban Cook. The announcement was made at Paul Revere Intermediate School in Blue Island, just as school was letting out and 'Jane's Bike Train' was saddling up. This dozen or so kids rides home from school daily as a group, led by one amazing parent (Jane Healy, Active Trans Board President). After the formal announcement indoors, the camera crews and print reporters went outside to witness the beaming group of riders as they provided a picture-perfect example of what an active, healthy community looks like.
The Cook Co. Health Dept. will communicate how funds will be used in the coming months, but I can tell you that encouraging and enabling more walking and biking for suburban Cook residents will be prominently featured. Active Trans will telegraph any news as soon as it becomes available.
My favorite snapshot? When the Univision reporter came on the scene. She was SWAMPED by a couple hundred squealing kids, who recognized her as a big celeb in their community. Pretty cool stuff.