This is the June issue of the Marin Safe Routes to Schools ENewsletter. This newsletter provides you with monthly updates of the Marin Safe Routes to Schools program, including highlights of the month.
SAVE THIS DATE
Next Team Leader Gathering
Thursday, August 27, tentative time; 5:30 or 6 p.m.
San Rafael Community Center
TASK FORCE MEETINGS WILL BEGIN AGAIN IN THE FALL
Contest Winners Receive Their Bikes
There were many smiling faces as the winners of the spring contests came to the Marin Bikes warehouse to pick up their new bikes. These students walked, biked, scootered, carpooled or took the bus to school as part of the Frequent Rider Miles or the Pollution Punchcard contest. Some of them even did a little of everything depending on the day. The bikes were provided at cost and built for free by Marin Bikes and paid for by a grant from Kaiser Permanente. Steve Glazer of Marin Bikes was on hand to help fit the bikes and ensure that they fit the winners. The students were thrilled to get their new bikes and were looking forward to a summer of riding. Caroline Cohen, winner of Strawberry Point School, at first hid behind her mother and wouldn’t get on her bike, changed her mind when she saw her older brother test out her new bike. That convinced her to try it out and her shyness dissolved as she rode it with her mother’s assistance. Photo: Nancy Phung of San Rafael High was thrilled with her new bike.
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Lycée Français Holds Final Frequent Rider Miles Day
The Lycée Français La Pérouse sponsored a Walk, Bike and Carpool to School Day on Friday, May 29, as the finale to their Frequent Rider Miles contest. Lycée Families met at 7:30 a.m. at the gravel lot across from Nordstrom to complete their program and earn tickets for a raffle of a brand new bicycle (see above). One westbound lane of Paradise Drive closest to the sidewalk was closed for 45 minutes with the help of the Twin Cities Police Department. The school obtained a permit for the closure. This closure was meant to improve the passage of children on their way to schools on both ends of Corte Madera. This was the first time a lane of Paradise Drive was closed to ensure the safety of children along the narrow sidewalk connecting to the bike path. Traffic moved smoothly both on and off the road and all children and their families arrived safely at school for a post event celebration. Special thanks to Twin Cities Police Department officers Matthew Mitchell and Larry Carnahan for their support.
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Team Leader Luncheon
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Team leaders from 20 schools were treated to a catered lunch provided by the Good Earth Natural Foods as they shared their successes and challenges that they faced during the year. Many had constructive suggestions on how to improve the Safe Routes to Schools program. These thrice a year gatherings allow the hard working volunteers to learn from each other and help the program to grow and improve. A lively discussion ensued on how to take the program to the next level, so that children are not walking or biking to school just to win a bike, but because that is what everyone should do day to day. The next Team Leader gathering will take place August 27 in the evening. A catered dinner and preparations for the new year will be followed by a training for new team leaders.
Back to School Letter
As the school year ends, many schools are already preparing their back to school packages for the fall. Safe Routes to Schools encourages schools to start the new school year off with the right message. The back to school package should include information on the various green options for getting to school. SR2S has prepared a template for a back to school letter that can come from the principal (or the district) advising parents of the various options they have to get their kids to school. We have also created a three-minute PowerPoint presentation to be shown at parent nights during September to encourage them to find ways to get to school besides driving alone. These tools will assist our schools in setting the tone that transportation choices matter and green choices are best for everyone.
Neil Cummins Students Ride to School
Kirby Bartlett, a parent in the Larkspur School District, organized a group ride from East Corte Madera to Hall, St. Patrick’s, and Neil Cummins schools on May 14 as part of Bike Commute week. In all 127 riders rode from East Corte Madera (67 Neil Cummins students, 25 Hall students, 35 adults), with an unknown number of MCDS riders passing in the opposite direction. There were also many west Corte Madera and Larkspur students riding to school. In all, 69 bags of free goodies were distributed. Five police officers patrolled the route (two on bicycle, two on motorcycle, and one in a patrol car). The principals of Hall and Neil Cummins acted as crossing guards. And there was even one parent jogging alongside her son on a scooter.
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Bay Area Climate Protection Workshop
Four Bay Area agencies brought together climate leaders of school-based programs from throughout the region on Friday, May 29 to share information about their programs and discuss ways to improve climate protection programs in schools. The Association of Bay Area Governments, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Bay Conservation and Development Commission and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission sponsored the event to showcase great climate programs in schools and give those programs an opportunity to network and exchange information. Safe Routes to Schools programs from Marin, Alameda, and Solano Counties were featured at the workshop. Each program gave a brief presentation which was followed by a general discussion of the issues that each face in implementing their programs and how they can work together. The agencies are exploring a future forum for principals, teachers, educators and parents in the fall.
See Granny Walk
Tired of impatient drivers who won’t let you and your children cross the street safely. Check out this video for a few laughs. A mother was videotaping her son skateboarding when she noticed this altercation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-ogrMr4lWc
Riding With Youth Workshop
Riding with Youth is a workshop that takes adults and students riding together to teach them how to safely navigate streets. Learn about proper equipment, communications, and appropriate behavior.
Current 2009 Workshop Schedule-
(Check our web site for additional dates.)
• Saturday, September 19 – Novato
• Saturday, September 26 – Mill Valley
Workshops are designed for students in grades 2 to 8 with prior on-the-street riding experience. Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Both adults and children must have their own bikes.
These workshops are implemented by the Marin County Bicycle Coalition. Funding is provided by the Non-motorized Transportation Pilot Program, administered by WalkBikeMarin (www.walkbikemarin.org) To register and to learn more about workshops click here or e-mail -RidingWithYouth@marinbike.org.
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Register for Walk to School Day
Registration is open for 2009 Walk to School Day, an international event where communities from more than 40 countries join together to walk and bicycle to school. Walk to School Day is October 7, 2009.
To register a Walk to School event, please visit http://www.walktoschool.org/register/index.cfm. Registration is free and available to individuals or organizations holding an event in the U.S. Registered schools will be displayed on an interactive map on the U.S. Walk to School Web site (www.walktoschool.org), where neighboring communities, media and other organizations will be able to view participating schools.
By registering, Walk to School organizers gain access to a variety of downloadable materials, including certificates, templates for printing stickers and a frequent walker punch card. Registrants can also subscribe to a weekly Walk to School e-newsletter with tips and resources on holding a Walk to School event.
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