CHICAGO (CBS) — Students at more than 200 schools statewide are being urged to walk or ride their bicycles to school Wednesday.

Schools nationwide are taking part in the annual “Walk and Roll to School” day, and the Active Transportation Alliance is organizing it locally.

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Spokesman Ethan Spotts said backers believe that feeding children a hearty breakfast and giving them a bit of exercise before school will produce students who are more focused and attentive.

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Spotts said in decades past, bicycle racks at schools were jammed, but said bicycling, in particular, seems to have fallen out of favor. He is urging parents to walk or ride alongside their children, and to form groups that travel together, whether it’s what he calls “walking school buses” or “bike trains.”

He said schools can do their part by installing more bike racks and urging students to use them the way many of their parents and grandparents once did.

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The alliance is working with a number of Chicago Public Schools, not as part of “Safe Passage,” but as part of the “Healthy CPS” initiative. The alliance will work with more than two dozen Chicago public schools to produce detailed plans for bicycle routes to and from school.