safe routes logoSafe Routes to Schools

E-Newsletter       May 2016

In This Issue
Bike to School Day
Walk Bike Blend!
Bilingual Program Gets Helping Hand
Safety Changes This Summer
White Hill Students Learn Through Biking
Green Sneaker at Lynwood
Thank you to our Volunteers
Free Bike Racks     
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Over 40 schools celebrated National Bike to School Day on May 4th


A Rainbow Of Color And Celebration On Bike To School Day
Over 40 schools celebrated National Bike to School Day on May 4th as kids, parent volunteers, principals and teachers pedaled and walked from neighborhoods together beaming with school pride. The bike racks were overflowing, and it looked like peloton parking for the Tour de France. Clif Kid partnered with Safe Routes to Schools for a memorable day encouraging safe cycling and walking.
Students who traveled by foot, bike, bus, or carpool signed a large colorful banner upon arrival at school. Principal Kristi Fish of Hidden Valley Elementary led a student bike train from the Town's fire department with more than 20 students following like ducklings. Karen Stead Baigriem, Hidden Valley parent team leader, worked with the school's leadership team to encourage green travel by making colorful posters with creative slogans.
"We had a tremendous outpouring of parent team support at welcome tables at school entrances in Marin County," said Laura Kelly, marketing and outreach manager for Safe Routes to Schools. "Our outstanding volunteer parent leaders empower our school communities to ride with pride all year long and embrace the Safe Routes to Schools national movement by encouraging children to travel green."
More Bike to School Day:
Middle Schoolers Walk, Bike, Blend!
Exercise on your way to school and get a delicious smoothie! Strawberries, bananas, and apple juice all swirled around in a bicycle-powered blender makes for a festive morning. Kent, Miller Creek, Sinaloa, and Mill Valley Middle saw hundreds of students walking, biking and blending! Thanks for riding and blending with us, Supervisor Connolly! 

Health and Human Services Staffing Safe Routes Bilingual Program
From left to right: Elaini Negussie, Reba Migs, Narli Arango, Oscar Guardado, Monica Leifer
The Marin Health and Human Services (MHHS) is contributing the work of one of their new interns, Narli Arango, to the growth of the Safe Routes to Schools' bilingual program. She will be available to work with SR2S until September.
Narli, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, will collaborate with SR2S bilingual coordinator, Monica Leifer, in Bahia Vista Elementary, Venetia Valley (a K-8 school), and Lynwood Elementary. This partnership will encourage Latino communities in San Rafael and Novato to be more physically active and make a habit of walking or biking to school. At each of the schools, Narli will also bring a message about the importance of having a healthy breakfast . "For Safe Routes, the work in Novato is especially important because there, most parents seem to be driving their children to school," says Monica Leifer.
Arango and Leifer will be recruiting more Hispanic parents to help Walk and Roll Wednesdays, inviting them to implement more walking school buses, and creating excitement about SR2S's brand-new contest, the Green Sneaker Challenge.

Safety Changes Coming this Summer

Summer is approaching and school is coming to a close, meaning many school-related infrastructure projects will be under construction. As with any road work, delays and traffic congestion are anticipated, so take caution and plan additional travel time when passing construction areas. 
Some projects include:
  • Tamalpais Drive pedestrian safety crossing improvements in Corte Madera
  • Doherty Drive bicycle pathway gap closure in front of Redwood High School in Larkspur
  • Fairfax bike spine gap closure along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
  • Novato crosswalk enhancements at:
    • South Novato Boulevard at Lark Court
    • South Novato Boulevard at Yukon Way
    • Ignacio Boulevard at Laurelwood Drive (west)
    • Ignacio Boulevard at Country Club Drive
White Hill Students Learn Through Bicycling
photos by Peter Oppenheimer
On Friday, May 6th, 270 White Hill seventh graders biked or walked to the Marin Museum of Bicycling in Fairfax for a full day of bicycle math, science, history, engineering, safety, and fun.  Fairfax Mayor Renee Goddard joined students, Safe Routes to Schools Instructors, White Hill teachers, and parent volunteers to cycle down Sir Francis Drake Boulevard with the Fairfax police escorts. 
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Green Sneaker Challenge
at Lynwood
A pre-school student was the happy winner of the Green Sneaker Challenge award at Lynwood Elementary in Novato on May 4th. Lynwood is part of the Safe Routes to Schools bilingual program where about 70 percent of its students are Hispanic.
The winner's father said that he and his two sons walk to school everyday. The child took home popcorn and a gift certificate for the movies. At Lynwood, the enthusiasm for SR2S's challenge showed in the participation of over 70 students, all of whom were awarded "Tiger Bucks" sponsored by the school. These Tiger Bucks are a dollar certificate that the children can spend at will during recess.
Safe Routes to Schools thanks parent volunteers Candelaria Garcia (second right) and Yanet Ferra Vasquez (left) for their level of commitment on carrying out the Green Sneaker Challenge for four weeks.

"Helmets Off" in Recognition of Team Leaders                             
Our Team Leaders and parent volunteers are the catalysts for healthy, active school communities through encouraging walking and biking to school. To acknowledge their commitment to kids, Safe Routes to Schools honored them at our annual year-end luncheon in May. 
Team Leaders from all over the county shared stories of how kids "geared up" and participated in our Green Sneaker Challenge, Walk and Roll Wednesdays and National Bike to School Day events. Walking School Buses and Bike Trains were popular this year; they combine safety in visible numbers and convenience for parents who take turns bringing kids to school. 
Safe Routes to Schools staff will soon be planning for next year based upon the valuable feedback of our dedicated parents. The Marin Museum of Bicycling in Fairfax donated free museum passes as a special "thank you" for our volunteers.
Our communities are better because of the parents that dedicate countless hours to promote active transportation for kids.  "Helmets off" in your honor.