Safe Routes News Jan. 2010

Happy New Year! This is the January 2010 issue of the Safe Routes to Schools’ e-newsletter for Marin County, California. This newsletter provides readers with program highlights and updates for the month.

Highlights of the Month
SchoolPool to Launch in January
Greenways to School Challenge – Win Cash for your School
Greenways to School Launch January 21
New Contests for all Grade Levels
Gearing up for Winter
Walking School Bus Vests Still Available

SchoolPool Marin logo

SchoolPool Marin Program Serves
All Families and School Employees

SchoolPool Marin is a new online program from Safe Routes to Schools that connects families to travel to and from school together and encourages reducing car trips to schools. The program will officially launch January 21, 2010. Registering will be easy and free. Once a parent/guardian registers online for a SchoolPool referral, the SchoolPool TripShare system provides a match list of other interested families who travel the same route to their school. The parents then contact each other to discuss carpooling, walking, biking or introducing their kids to be bus buddies.

SchoolPool Marin will provide tips for getting started and maintaining SchoolPools and will track reductions in greenhouse gases and miles traveled to Marin schools. Families that do not need a SchoolPool can also register to support their school in the Green Ways to School Challenge. There will be individual incentives for the first several hundred who register and school faculty and staff can support their school by finding carpool or biking buddies.Watch for the launch announcement later this month.

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Green Ways to School Challenge –
Win Cash for your School

Green Ways to School

Marin County Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) is pleased to announce its new Green Ways to School campaign to combat global warming, funded by a $175,000 grant from the Marin Community Foundation’s Climate Change Initiative. The Green Ways to School campaign will feature the new SchoolPool online trip sharing program (see above), new contests, and cash incentives for the schools that show the greatest increase in green trips to school by walking, biking, carpooling or taking the bus.

Building on the success of Marin’s nationally recognized SR2S program, the Green Ways campaign will employ a classroom competition within schools, and challenges between schools with cash awards ranging from $100 for individual classes to $2,000 for the top performing school. All Marin County schools may participate including K-12 public and private schools with special programming offered for middle and high school age students.

While Marin County has a reputation for environmental stewardship, its carbon footprint actually exceeds the national average. A full 62% of Marin’s carbon emissions are caused by the transportation sector compared to 40% statewide. With international efforts underway to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Marin County can act locally by reducing the number of automobile trips to school

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Green Ways to School Launch January 21
The Green Ways to School campaign will be unveiled at the Marin County Connections Center at 3240 Kerner Blvd. San Rafael on January 21, 2010 at 4 p.m. Superintendent Mary Jane Burke will provide the welcoming address and two of SR2S champion principals will be honored. Popular Rock Teacher Jasper Thelin will act as the master of ceremonies. Participants will learn more about the Green Ways to School program and get hands-on instruction on the use of the SchoolPool web site. A special musical presentation by Teens Go Green will round out the show.

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New Contests for all Grade Levels

Go for the Green poster

The Go for the Green contest will be offered to elementary schools from mid March until spring break. Each class will get a poster of a tree and leaf stickers. Students will be asked to put a leaf on the tree for every green trip to school. At the end of each week the leaves will be counted and the number put on two acorns, one that will be put on the tree and the other displayed in a central location in the school. At the end of the contest the class with the most stickers will win a $100 cash award and be given a certificate.

Middle schools will have a classroom competition in which students will be given raffle tickets for taking greenways to school twice a week, one on a regular Walk and Roll to School Day and the other a random day. Each week a ticket will be drawn for a small prize for an individual student and at the end of the contest a student will win a green iPod. The winning class with the most tickets will get $50 for a party for their class.

High school students will be invited to form teams. Each team member will get a raffle ticket (twice a week like middle school) and put it in their team’s jar. Each week the teams with the most tickets will go into a rafflle for a coupon for movie tickets and other funs things for the team to do together. The final prize will be a $100 money order for the winning team with the most tickets.

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walking school bus vest
Here are a few tips for cold days:

  1. Wear full-fingered gloves,hats, hoods, headbands to cover the neck and ears (under the helmet too). Dress in layers; you warm up quickly when walking and riding.

  2. Wear a wind-proof jacket

For Rainy Days:

  1. Wear bright colors

  2. Carry umbrellas and wear rain boots

  3. Make sure your child has waterproof rain gear

  4. When riding a bike with your child, make sure to ride slower. The roads are slick and you need to brake sooner.

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Walking School Bus Vests Available

walking school bus vest

We have Walking School Bus vests available to any school that organizes Walking School Buses (or Bike Trains).  These vests can be worn by the adult leaders to identify themselves.  They come in bright yellow or orange colors and were donated to Safe Routes to Schools by Kaiser Permanente.  Contact Peggy Clark at for more information.

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Transportation Authority of Marin


is a program of the
Transportation Authority
of Marin
3501 Civic Center Dr.
San Rafael, CA 94913

Project Manager:
David Parisi

Program Director:
Wendi Kallins

For information on
school activities:
Project Coordinator:
Laura Kelly
415-456-3469 ext. 2#

For information on
school classes:

Project Coordinator
for Logistics:
Peggy Clark
415-456-3469 ext 8#

For information on the SchoolPool Marin Program
SchoolPool Coordinator
Deborah Cole

Street Smarts Marin

Transportation Authority
of Marin
Project Manager
Dan Cherrier,
415 226-0829

Street Smarts Coordinator
Parisi Associates
Deborah Cole










SchoolPool carpool, walk, bike together



































Safe Routes to Schools, Marin logo