International Walk (or Roll) to School Day was on October 9th where hundreds of students in Santa Clara made the car-free commute to school. The day was celebrated in thousands of schools across America and throughout communities in more than 40 countries. Scott Lane Elementary had a record-breaking turnout for their Walking School Bus (a group that meets at a destination to walk to school together) with more than 90 participants walking to school together and over 120 students walking or rolling in general! These events help promote physical activity, environmental awareness, and safer streets, while building a sense of community. Santa Clara schools will continue to celebrate through the month of October and will hopefully continue to make car-free choices the rest of the school year.
The City of Santa Clara Safe Routes to School Program will celebrate walking and bicycling to school throughout the month of October. This year, six elementary schools and one middle school that are participating in the City’s Safe Routes to Schools program will join thousands of families across the county and the state in walking and bicycling to school.
From kindergartners to eighth graders, thousandsof students are expected to “walk ‘n roll” to school. International Walk & Bike to School Day is celebrated on October 9th, but some schools will celebrate on other days in October. Check with your local school for more details. You can find out more about International Walk & Bike to School Day at www.walkbiketoschool.org.
It’s time to start thinking about pedestrian and bicycle safety as you plan your child’s commute to school. Avoid the traffic jams and reduce congestion at schools by walking or rolling to school this year. Santa Clara’s Safe Routes to School programs have begun, and throughout the fall, we will continue to educate students on the rules of the road for pedestrians and bicyclists. In addition, the Safe Routes team is planning fun activities and events to encourage students to walk or roll. There are many opportunities for community members, families, students, and schools to get involved. Plan a walking school bus with your neighbors, join a group bicycle ride to school, and keep an eye out for International Walk and Bike to School Day in October. If you would like to volunteer to help bring these programs to your school please contact Santa Clara Safe Routes at firstname.lastname@example.org Together we can help build a healthier community.
On May 8th schools nationwide will take part in Bike to School Day by having children walk or bike to school, including right here in Santa Clara. The event builds awareness around the need for bikeable/walkable communities and safer routes to school. The event helps build stronger communities, safer neighborhoods, and sustainable programs to keep children using active transportation.
Santa Clara’s mayor, Jamie Matthews, and Council member Teresa O’Neill, local police officers, the 49er’s mascot, and many more will help to make the event a success. It is a wonderful opportunity for the city to recognize and encourage the need for more active transportation and healthier lifestyle choices within your community. This year’s event will fall during the annual STAR testing which is perfect given the need of physical activity for healthy minds. It has been shown that kids who are more physically active have better academic performance. As one of the seven schools participating in our program likes to say, “A healthy body makes a happy brain.”
Sutter Elementary School already got the wheels turning and celebrated the event on April 24th during their normally scheduled Walk and Bike to School Day. With more than 25 bikes filling the racks and over 50 walkers the event was a success. Keep an eye out for other Bike to School Days as Santa Clara schools continue to celebrate throughout the month of May.
- May 2nd Montague Elementary
- May 8th Scott Lane Elementary
- May 8th Haman Elementary
- May 8th Briarwood Elementary
- May 8th Cabrillo Middle School
- May 13th -17th Bowers Elementary
The Santa Clara Safe Routes to School Program is teaming up with the City of Santa Clara, the Santa Clara Unified School District, and VTA to launch an exciting poster contest for students, grades K-8, in the City of Santa Clara.
Starting March 15th, students will be encouraged to submit posters that represent the goals of the Safe Routes to School program: making it safer, easier, and more fun to walk, bike, or take transit to and from school. Submissions will be accepted until March 29th.
Download the contest form and start drawing today!
Grand Prize: Your Poster on the Bus!
Show us what Safe Routes to School means to you and win great prizes: Continue reading
It’s that time of the year again: the Santa Clara Safe Routes to School program is asking for your input. If you’re a parent of a student at one of the seven participating Santa Clara Unified schools, we want to know what you think of the Safe Routes to School program. Use this link to access our survey and fill it out; it should take less than 10 minutes of your day.
The seven schools in the program are:
- Bowers Elementary
- Briarwood Elementary
- Haman Elementary
- Montague Elementary
- Scott Lane Elementary
- Sutter Elementary
- Cabrillo Middle School
We’ll be accepting survey submissions until March 1st, so make sure you fill it out today!
As we prepare for the holiday season, the Santa Clara SR2S team wanted to share an early gift with you. Now available, both in this blog post and on our Resources page, is our First Year Report for the Santa Clara SR2S program. In it, you will find a comprehensive review of all our activities from December of 2011 through June of 2012.
First Year Look
Do you remember walking to school? Maybe you were even lucky enough to ride your bike. In 1969, roughly 50% of students across the country walked or biked to school. Those numbers have dropped in the following 40 years, to an astoundingly low 13% of students in 2009. The staff at Santa Clara Safe Routes to School is doing our best to reverse that trend.
Monthly Walk & Bike to School Days
The Santa Clara Safe Routes to School Team has recently scheduled monthly Walk and Bike to School Days at four elementary schools in the Santa Clara School District. Montague, Briarwood, Sutter, and Haman Elementary will all be having monthly themed walking events and group walking days to help promote a more active lifestyle. Montague got the ball rolling with a November Umbrella Walk. About 50 students showed their participation by adding their name to an umbrella poster.
Sound Fun? Join In!
To join your school in its efforts, these are the days to write down:
- Haman Elementary: First Wednesday of each month
- Montague Elementary: First Thursday of each month
- Briarwood Elementary: Second Tuesday of each month
- Sutter Elementary: Last Wednesday of each month
These schools will look forward to Winter Walks (December) and Heart Health Walks (January) in the coming months. Want to join in the fun? We challenge everyone to get out of their seat and move their feet; every day can be a Walk and Bike to School Day!
Bring a Monthly Walk and Bike to School Day to You School
Interested in volunteering and/or leading a walking group during a monthly Walk and Bike to School Day? Talk to your school principal or email email@example.com. Don’t forget to check our calendar often to stay up-to-date on all Safe Routes to School happenings.
On October 3, 2012, over 40 countries participated in International Walk and Bike to School Day. Locally, the Santa Clara Safe Routes to School (SR2S) team worked with six Santa Clara schools in an effort to promote active commutes, reduce traffic congestion, and generate awareness for more walkable and bikeable communities. Students were encouraged to use active transportation to get to school by walking, riding a bicycle, or using a scooter or skateboard. Once at school, they were offered rewards to recognize their positive efforts.
At Juan Cabrillo Middle School, students were greeted with lively music and snacks as they arrived by foot, on bikes, skateboard, and scooters. The school’s Leadership Class, comprised of twenty-five superb students, spearheaded the planning and execution of this grand event. The club made posters to advertise the event weeks before and also helped plan all the details for the big morning. Posters and balloons decorated the court yard along with a ‘Map Your Route’ table for students to show where they walked or biked from, a refreshments table where students could refuel and rehydrate, and a prize table that showcased raffle prizes including locks, helmets, water hydration packs, and bike lights. To ensure the accurate tracking of participants, four groups of leadership students were positioned around the boundaries of the school to give students a hand stamp and raffle ticket as they approached the school. The hand stamp allowed students to get a snack and drink while the raffle ticket allowed them to be entered in the drawing. The energy level was high that morning as students arrived to the sounds of music and interactive activities. The event generated a lot of enthusiasm among the student body and reminded everyone that walking and biking to school can be fun, healthy, and rewarding.
Four elementary schools also celebrated International Walk and Bike to School Day. Bowers, Briarwood, Haman, and Montague elementary schools greeted students with a Hydration Station and Travel Tally Chart. The Hydration Station included apple juice, water, clementines, and stickers for students who participated by either walking or rolling (bicycling, skateboarding, or scootering), and those who took the bus.The Travel Tally Chart had five modes of transportation to choose from: Walking, Rolling, Bus/Transit, Car, or Carpool. Students were asked to place a sticker dot based on how they arrived at school that morning, and those that walked or biked were eager to display their accomplishment on the board. Of the hundreds of students that participated in this activity 41% at Bowers, 31% at Briarwood, 56% at Haman, and 61% at Montague indicated that they walked or rolled to school. All schools showed increase in active commutes, considering most schools average about 24% of walkers and bikers. Sutter Elementary will be celebrating Walk and Bike to School Week from October 8-12.
The students and parents at all school sites expressed great interest in the event. One parent stated, “This is great. My son told me this morning that we couldn’t drive to school today, that we needed to put on our walking shoes.” This was a great event to showcase the many benefits active commutes offers to students, parents, and the entire community around schools. All of the participating schools expressed interest in continuing to promote more walking and biking to school through similar events and activities.
A big thank you to Silicon Valley Power, who generously donated healthy snacks and refreshments for all participating schools!