Hudson -- Safety is the emphasis as students walk or ride a bike to school Oct. 10.
Hudson City Schools will be joining schools from around the world to celebrate International Walk and Bike to School Day.
The Safe Routes to school initiative encourages more kids to be active and find the safest route to school, said Brenda Divine, Safe Routes Hudson coordinator.
"We're trying to encourage kids to walk and bike to school and show them the safest routes to use," Divine said.
Safe Routes Hudson will mail a map and safety tip brochure to all students in kindergarten through eighth grade and residents who live within the walk zone -- a one to two mile radius out from each of the schools participating in the event.
Safe Routes and the city of Hudson have worked together to pinpoint the safest routes for students, Divine said.
Students from Evamere, Ellsworth Hills, McDowell, East Woods and Hudson Middle School that live within a one to two mile radius will be walking and bicycling to school that day along with parents, teachers and community leaders, Divine said.
Walkers and bicyclists will receive a new Safe Routes to School Walking Map, Clif Kid Fruit Rope, a free DQ Cone coupon and a chance to enter a raffle to win a colored MOVband per school for participating in the event, Divine said.
The MOVband is a watch with three settings -- time, moves and miles. The device has a 3D chip and tracks leg and arm movements and converts them into miles, Divine said.
There will be Safe Routes Hudson parent volunteers helping students, and residents will see an increased police presence in neighborhoods surrounding Hudson Schools, Divine said.
"Motorists are urged to pay special attention that morning to walkers and bikers who may not be used to the 'rules of the road,'" Divine said.
More than 400 Hudson students participated in last spring's fun and successful Bike/Walk to School Day, Divine said.
"Each year we get more kids participating and in the spring we had an exceptional number because of the MOVbands," Divine said.
A 2012 grant provided 1,000 MOVbands, which were loaned to students to track their movements.
"That initiative underscored the importance of getting out and walking and biking," Divine said. "It encouraged kids to get up and move."
Walk/Bike to School events work to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity, promoting independence among children, pedestrian and bicycle safety, traffic congestion, concern for the environment and building connections between families, schools and the broader community, Divine said.
Safe Routes Hudson organized the event to improve the walking and bicycling conditions in Hudson.
Council unanimously approved a resolution Sept. 18 for a contract with Schirmer Construction for public improvements for the Safe Routes to School program, including the installation of new electronic school crossing signals on North Hayden Parkway near Evamere, Eastwood and McDowell Schools.
The project also includes sidewalk installation along Glen Echo Drive from Hudson-Aurora Road to Victoria Parkway and a new crosswalk, with ADA ramps, and sidewalk installation on Middleton Road from Winterberry Drive to Ellsworth School.
In addition, new bike racks will be purchased to be located on school properties.
International Bike/Walk to School Day is expected to include 5,000 U.S. schools from all 50 states along with walkers and bicyclists in 40 countries around the world.
For more information, go to www.saferouteshudson.org.
Facebook: Laura Freeman, Record Publishing