- Margie Suozzo
Gardner Bullis Crosses the Finish Line with its First WoW! Event of the Year
Encouraging biking and walking to school can be so much fun, as evidenced by Gardner Buliis' amazing Walk or Wheel (WoW!) Day held on March 18th. Organized by parents, Nick and Melissa French, the event featured a race finish at the end of students' morning school commute. (Nick is a longtime runner).
Students who walked or biked that day crossed under a large blue inflated Finish line and were greeted with fanfare and an announcement on the other side. They then made their way to tables with orange slices, muffins, some swag, like frisbees, bags, and bike bells, as well as an opportunity to pledge to bike and walk more.
What a way to start the day!
GreenTown provided background to the French’s on organizing a WoW! Day - though clearly they know how to throw a party! A week prior to the event, they shared a short safety presentation at the school’s morning assembly.
On the day of, we brought out the always-popular GreenTown blender bike, where kids use their own pedal power to blend smoothies then enjoy the fruits of their labor. We thanked the students for biking and walking, encouraged them to keep it up for the good of the planet, and handed them a sticker to remind them that WoW!, they did it! When the numbers were tallied, more than half of the school participated with 168 students walking and biking that dayl! Sixth grade teacher, Devik Schreiner, who was on traffic duty that morning, noted that it is usually crazy in the drop-off zone and emphasized, "This was my easiest day ever!"
Recently Fewer Kids Biking and Walking
It seems that habits formed during the pandemic have put a damper on elementary school kids’ walking
and biking to school. Garner Bullis has begun to turn the tide. Let’s extend that example to other schools and get back to healthy school commutes. Active school commutes are:
Fire up your child’s brain and muscles for the school day
Reduce carbon emissions and air toxins around school pick-up/drop-off areas, and
Reduce traffic congestion around school, making it safer to walk and bike.
Bike/Ped Safety Instruction Needed…and Coming
Anecdotal reports suggest kids (and parents) are in need of more instruction on how to walk and bike safely. Los Altos School District (LASD) plans to pilot a bicycle and pedestrian safety curriculum by the end of May. The curriculum, developed by Alta Planning for the Los Altos Safe Routes to School program, and with input from LASD PE staff, targets 4th, 5th and 6th graders. This is a great start, for sure! Fingers crossed, following the pilot, LASD will refine the program and deliver it more widely throughout the District by next fall. In the meantime, GreenTown has a wealth of resources on its website to help improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. Visit www.greentownlosaltos.org/schoolswow.
May is Bike Month - Learn More about WoW!!
May is Bike Month and a great time to hold events to encourage biking and walking to school. One option is participating in the May 4th, National Bike & Roll Day. Whether you choose to hold an event on that day or any day in May, we’re here to help. If you’d like to learn more about the WoW! Program, help improve bike and pedestrian safety around your school or organize a WoW! event, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.