Inter-generational Walking Project: Stephens Middle School and Center 50+

Through a partnership with AARP-Oregon and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Inter-generational Safe Streets Challenge recipient Just Walk Salem Keizer worked with Stephens Middle School in Salem, Oregon. Here’s their exciting success story. 

In collaboration with Just Walk Salem Keizer, OSU Extension Service, and Salem Leadership Foundation, students at Stephens Middle School and volunteers from Center 50+ (senior center) conducted an inter-generational walking project in support of the Inter-generational Safe Streets Challenge.

The project engaged twenty-three students from the Stephens Middle School leadership class and 8 volunteers from Center 50+. Students were divided into six groups, with at least one adult volunteer in each group. Over eight sessions, students worked with the volunteers to develop their route, cross-check the route with the Walkable America Walkability Checklist, make changes, cross-check again, and then finalize the route. A total of six routes were developed. Students shared their routes and experiences in a presentation to peers and stakeholders on May 23, 2017. Eight students, representing four groups, were invited to share their presentation with transportation planners from Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments (June 8, 2017) and Salem City Council (June 12, 2017).

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Inter-generational Project: Crooked River Walking School Buses

Through a partnership with AARP-Oregon and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Inter-generational Safe Streets Challenge recipient Crook County Public Health worked with Crooked River Elementary School in Prineville, Oregon. Here’s their exciting success story. 

ISSC_Crook WSB Cheri High-Five

Want to learn more about how to set up a Walking School Bus in your community? Read our guide Step by Step: How to Start a Walking School Bus at Your School

This spring, Crook County Public Health offered four Walking School Bus routes every Wednesday morning for students of Crooked River Elementary, from spring break to the end of school (a total of 10 weeks). Abby Leibowitz, the AmeriCorps VISTA running the program, did significant outreach to the school community, and found that talking face-to-face with families seemed to be the most effective way of explaining and publicizing the program.

Abby posted fliers throughout town, presented during Senior Center lunches, contacted retired police officers and teachers, encouraged local community leaders to spread the word, and recruited school parents who had previously volunteered. In all, she recruited a total of 8 consistent volunteers and 3 substitute volunteers, 6 of whom were older adults. All volunteers underwent a background check and a one-hour training about the many benefits of walking to school, program logistics, volunteer & participant expectations, and pedestrian safety.

Each week, 15-30 total students participated, and even caught the attention of local media: Crooked River Elementary students who live close to their school may hop on a Walking School Bus once a week.

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How should Portland spend $8M to improve safe access around schools?

Provide input on Safe Routes to School in March & April to have your say

Fixing Our Streets is a locally-funded street repair and traffic safety initiative that will bring much needed street improvement and safety projects to neighborhoods across Portland. It is expected to provide approximately $8 million for school neighborhood improvements along walking and biking routes to school — around $500,000 dedicated to each High School cluster (including the elementary and middle schools that feed into a particular high school).

(c) Jonathan Maus, BikePortland

Tell them what you think needs to happen around the schools to make walking and rolling to school safer and easier. Portland’s robust Safe Routes to School team hasn’t ever had this much money to spend on safety projects around schools, and now is the time to weigh in — especially if you access a school in the Portland Public (PPS), Parkrose, David Douglas, Reynolds, or Centennial School Districts.

If your student attends a PPS or Parkrose school, you can attend an Open House event to provide input (see schedule below). For David Douglas, Centennial, and Reynolds schools within Portland city limits, Portland’s Safe Routes to School staff will be organizing engagement opportunities at your schools – learn more: bit.ly/OpenHouseSRTS.

HOW TO GET YOUR VOICE HEARD

  • Attend a SRTS Fixing Our Streets Open House (see dates below)
  • Attend a Walk Audit with SRTS (specific schools in Wilson Cluster only)
  • Attend a Walk Audit with Oregon Walks (specific Title I schools in PPS only)
    ‐ visit OregonWalks.org/HealthyTravel2School for details
  • Submit specific concerns at saferoutespdx.org (for PPS schools only)
  • Host a pop‐up open house at your school to collect comments from parents
    (SRTS will provide the materials!)

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May is Bike Month

schoolbikes

National Bike to School Day is Wednesday, May 4 – is your school signed up? It’s not too late!

The Fire Up your Feet Spring Activity Challenge has arrived in Oregon & SW Washington, and runs from May 1-31. Make sure you are ready to jump into your favorite activities and earn cash awards for your school at the same time. Make the most of your time online so you can spend more time outside being active! One activity tracker does it all, so parents, teachers, and coordinators can all use the same tracker.

In Oregon, the Walk + Bike Challenge is a friendly competition aimed at encouraging more kids and families to walk and bike to and from school and throughout their neighborhoods.

In Washington, Cascade Bicycle Club hosts friendly statewide Bike to School competitions for elementary, middle and high school students who can track their bike riding during May and earn prizes along the way.

Not a student anymore? Then Bike Everywhere & Bike More.

Fire Up Your Feet Month Starts Today! Have You Signed Up Yet?

Today marks the first day of the Oregon & SW Washington Fire Up Your Feet Fall Activity Challenge! Are you registered yet? Start by signing up here! We commend you for your dedication to helping support a healthier school environment.

If you’re excited about winning a Fire Up Your Feet Challenge award, then you might want to make use of our new School Standings report. To access the report, click “Activity Tracker” then “School Standings” (located on the left side of the menu bar). Use both the state and the date filter to drill down to activity during the month of October in your region. Once you’re aware of your school’s standing, you may be surprised by how easy it will be for your school to win one or more of our fabulous fall award offerings starting with this week’s Breakout Challenge award:

Breakout Challenge #1 (runs from October 1-7)
Any K-8 school with at least 20 participants that have tracked at least one activity using the coordinator or individual tracker between October 1-7 will be entered into a drawing for one $200 award. Winners will be announced next week. Here are a few helpful hints to increase your school’s chances of winning this and other awards.

  • Want to track an activity for many – even hundreds – of students with just a few clicks? Watch our how-to videos.
  • Want to be sure everyone that counts as a participant? Make sure participants track activity at least once during the Challenge period.
  • Finally, want to cinch the victory? Make sure your school has a minimum of 10 participants by encouraging five parents to register and track, sending flyers home with students, pinning a poster on your school’s bulletin board or inserting a blurb into your school newsletter.

Walk It Out with a Fire Up Your Walk to School Award!
Next Wednesday, October 8, millions of families around the world celebrate International Walk to School Day. Check out our Fire Up Your Walk to School Day tip sheet for ideas to build upon the momentum, and remember that any school with 25 or more walkers tracking their activity this month is eligible for a drawing for a $500 Fire Up Your Walk to School Day award. For inspiration, share this infographic about the benefits of walking and bicycling for kids, your community and the planet.