Boulder students bike vs. drive to school

Ready, set, bike! Students in the Boulder Valley School District will be riding their bikes to school on Friday to promote physical activity. Last year, the district officially proclaimed Earth Day as “Bike to School Day.”

bicyclesHeatherwood Elementary School is partnering with Assisted Cyling Tours, a nonprofit organization that takes kids with disabilities and their families on bike trips, to start the first Safe Routes to School program for children with disabilities.

“Over the last few years, Heatherwood has had a remarkable level of walking and cycling – it consistently ranks as one of the highest performing schools in the county,” said Amy Thompson, Heatherwood’s Safe Routes to School volunteer coordinator. “Adding our kids with disabilities this year just seemed to be the right step forward for our program.”

Seven students with disabilities have already registered for the event. Heatherwood students will meet at a neighborhood park on Friday morning, where Assisted Cycling will provide tandems for children to ride the day of the event.

“Our kids are excited to ride and their parents are excited for them to have this opportunity,” said Sylvia Parga-Ray, a Heatherwood special education teacher. “We’re fortunate to have a supportive community to help us do this program.”

Bear Creek Elementary School will be celebrating the completion of a Safe Routes to School project on Friday. Crosswalk improvements have made walking and cycling to school safer and more convenient.

“We hope Bike to School Day will give more students, parents and staff the encouragement to try biking to school and see how enjoyable it can be to start the day with a pleasant bike ride or walk through their neighborhood,” said Landon Hilliard, of the BVSD Transportation Department.

Parents interested in registering their children for “Bike to School” day or who want more information should click here. Boulder Valley schools will be giving participants a free school lunch and coupons at local stores, a chance to win prizes such as bikes, helmets and bike lights.

Consider starting something like this in your school or district. There’s no doubt people in Boulder Valley can give you lots of good pointers.

DPS students clean up as they walk to school

In celebration of Earth Day, students at Edison Elementary and Brown International Academy in Northwest Denver will sport their recycled paper hats as they tidy up the neighborhood on their way to school.

Students will meet at a parking lot in between the two schools, and DPS Chief Operating Officer David Suppes will award students with the best recycled hats and then lead students on a walk to school.

Edison Elementary was one of the first schools in DPS chosen to take part in the City of Denver and the Denver Food to Flowers composting pilot program. Since students began composting, the school has gone from dumping six bags of trash to one half bag or less going into the Dumpster each day. Through the composting program, students have learned that instead of going in the trash, their leftover sandwiches can help a flower grow in the future.

Edison has also received light-fixture upgrades that help to reduce the school’s energy usage. The school’s student “Green Team” also helps with the Edison Community Garden.

More information

  • Click here to read more about Safe Routes to Schools nationally.
  • Click here for information about the Safe Routes to Schools Partnership in Colorado.
  • Click here for information about resources available through the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program.

 

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.