Middle-schoolers experience the joys of biking


One hundred and forty-six seventh-graders from Sleeping Giant Middle School along with a few teachers and chaperons rode their bikes from their school in Livingston to Carter’s Bridge south of Livingston during their annual bike ride on Monday. 

SGMS science teacher David Pettit is the driving force behind the event, which he said is in part to celebrate the end of the school year and to also practice bike safety that students learn in his classes during the year. Pettit said his students ride the bikes on field trips during the year and to also learn about science, physics and fitness. 

  In addition to the bike riding, Pettit has inspired his students to think more about the environment and staying hydrated along the way.

“I got together with Dale Sexton, owner of Timber Trails in Livingston, and wrote up a grant to get 146 water bottles for the kids which were donated by Specialized, who was also a sponsor of the day’s event,” Pettit said. 

Sexton said he obviously wanted to support anything that has to do with Pettit’s class and their excitement toward biking. Timber Trails also lends a hand in running bike repair clinics for the students and donating a few used bikes for the cause. 

Bike riding wasn’t the only project tackled by the science teachers and SGMS students recently.

Pettit said this year a student council he helped organize at the school raised $1,800 to purchase a new water fountain for the school. 

“We raised enough money to get a fancy one that not only gives you a drink of cold water but allows you to fill your water bottle that you can then keep with you during the day,” Pettit added. 

The fountain, which will be located near Pettit’s classroom in Sleeping Giant Middle School, also has a built-in counter to show the kids how much they are helping the environment by not buying water in plastic bottles that eventually end up in a landfill.