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
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.
November’s Umbrella Walk at Montague Elementary was a big hit
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.
Data gathered through student travel tallies and parent surveys conducted in February show that six schools in Santa Clara have between 16% to 32% of their students walking or biking to or from school. These are some good numbers, considering the national average is at around 15%. But we’re sure we can do much better. With the almost-perfect California weather and pretty good infrastructure, almost all students should be able to walk or bike to school on a regular basis. Results show that less than 5% of students are biking to school.
There are many benefits to walking and biking: for health, the environment, and for fun! Students that bike or walk to school benefit from increased levels of daily physical activity, help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution around schools, and arrive to school more awake and ready to learn.
As you may have heard, our efforts to increase walking and bicycling at these schools are already under way. Over 500 students at Briarwood, Bowers, Haman, Montague, Scott Lane, and Sutter Elementary will receive pedestrian and bicycle education during April and May.
If you would like to assist with bicycle and pedestrian skills training, including bike rodeos, please email Anna@bikesicilionvalley.org.
Stay tuned for more updates. In the meantime, we’d like to encourage you to walk and bike to school with your kids whenever possible.
Santa Clara SR2S will really be getting the ball rolling this week as we distribute our parent survey to six of the participating schools. The surveys are designed to give us an idea of how students are getting to school, now, at the beginning of the program. This allows us to do two things. First, we can determine how to focus our efforts. For example, if we see that third and fifth graders at one school walk frequently, but their fourth grader peers don’t, we know that we need to work to get those students walking more.
Second, the surveys will help us learn when and where our efforts are working. We will compare the results of this first survey to those of a follow-up survey distributed later. If we see more walking and biking from our students and their families, we know we’re on the right track! If we see that we can do better, we’ll know what to focus on.
So if you’re a parent of a student at Briarwood Elementary, Haman Elementary, Montague Elementary, Scott Lane Elementary, Sutter Elementary, or Cabrillo Middle Schools, please help us get smart. Take the survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ParentSurvey2012_SantaClaraCity
Both English and Spanish surveys are available. Just two minutes of your time will help us change lives!