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After the school day on Wednesday, May 7, Newton County Theme School (NCTS) students and parents will bicycle or walk from NCTS to the Eastside Trail, located behind Chimney Park and the Covington Branch of the Newton County Public Library. The event will occur on “International Bike to School Day,” a day designated for students to bicycle or walk to or from school, where safe bicycle routes are in place.

At 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7, after car riders and buses have cleared the area, students and parents will walk or bicycle from NCTS down Newton Drive toward Chimney Park, located off of Ramsey Drive, with assistance from the Covington Police Department and Newton County Sheriff’s Office. Once at the park, students can walk or bicycle along the Eastside Trail, participate in a scavenger hunt in Chimney Park, enjoy healthy snacks, and enter into a raffle drawing for prizes and giveaways. In preparation for the event, the Covington Fire Department is conducting three one-hour bicycle safety sessions on Monday, May 5 and Tuesday, May 6, for NCTS students according to grade level.

“International Bike to School Day” is an extension of the widely celebrated “International Walk to School Day,” which occurs in October.  Both events were established to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety, concern for the environment, community engagement, and physical activity. Similarly, the “Bike the Trail” event is intended to be an opportunity for students to engage in a physical activity while enjoying the Eastside Trail, a newly constructed bicycle/walking trail in their community. Encouraging students to participate in physical activity and utilizing community resources to provide physical activity opportunities are two objectives included in the NCSS Wellness Plan, a district plan that is intended to create healthier school environments for students. Such goals are supported in research; a report recently released from the GenYouth Foundation indicates that students who engage in greater amounts of physical activity are more likely to maintain a healthy weight and show improved academic performance, specifically on reading, math, and spelling tests.

The Newton County School System (NCSS) School Nutrition Program (SNP), NCTS faculty, and Eastside High School faculty and students, have worked with several community organizations including Newton Trails, the Newton County Board of Commissioners, and Friends of Newton Parks to plan the event. In future years, the committee plans to include students from other Newton County Schools in the “Bike/Walk the Trail” event. Students at NCTS were the first to participate in the event because of the proximity of the school to the entrance of the Eastside Trail.  

For more information about Newton Trails and plans for future trails, visit For information on “International Bike to School Day”, visit:

If you have questions about the Bike/Walk the Eastside Trail event, please contact Brittany Bingeman, SNP Wellness Coordinator, Newton County School System, at or 770-784-4966.

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