Local elementary school highlights “Safe Routes to School Program”

ISHPEMING — Walking, celebrating and having some neighborhood fun is how Birchview Elementary school kids started their morning.

Even before the sun was up, Birchview Elementary school students were up and learning a valuable lesson. School board members and even the school superintendent were on hand, to be early bird role models.

“We all have to exercise and we all have fun and we get to walk to school,” said Jacob Pumphrey, 4th grader, Birchview Elementary.

Birchview Elementary third grader, Teadan Merrils adds, “Because my grandma goes for a walk with me and it’s good exercise.”

This walk to school day is part of the Safe Routes to School Program.

“Overall, walk to school day is built around teaching kids it’s o–k to walk to school, teaching them about safety in the streets, about how healthy it is to walk to school and how fun it can be,” said Sarah Carson, Americorps Volunteer, Birchview Elementary.

The kids even had a fire truck escort as well as local high school students tag along. After the brisk walk to school, the kids met here in the gymnasium for a quick pep talk. Organizers decided to combine their walk to school day with a pep rally for the big rivalry football game, Ishpeming vs. Gwinn. It was a gymnasium full of excitement and hometown pride.

“The kids being able to see the smiles on the kids faces and to show them what a wonderful community they have surrounding and supporting them, it’s really amazing,” continued Carson.

“You get to walk to school and it’s just fun I guess.” said Alec Arvon, 4th grade, Birchview Elementary.

1st grader, Alanna Holme adds, “Because it’s very fun, yeah.”