Fifteen years ago, Walk to School Day started with an event at a single school. Gradually, people across the nation joined in as they noticed that Walk to School Day promoted the things they wanted for their own schools and communities.
Over the past decade, we’ve begun to see the benefits of active transportation for our health, our safety and our sense of community. Walk to School Day has spread to more than 4,000 events annually in all 50 states and more than 40 countries.
This year, the first National Bike to School Day has been met with instant enthusiasm. On the first day of registration, 104 schools in 33 states and the District of Columbia registered. At the time of this message, there are 279 registered events and many more individuals registered as resources who can share expertise, time and other contributions for local events. All these individual resources and event planners are banding together to assemble a first – a Bike to School Day on a national scale.
For this reason, we’ve planned a bicycle-themed newsletter issue to promote shifting into a new gear to celebrate National Bike to School Day. You can read an interview with Andy Clarke, the president of the League of American Bicyclists, and hear his thoughts on national biking initiatives and what they mean for Safe Routes to School. Learn more about the inaugural National Bike to School Day and the resources available on the new site – www.walkbiketoschool.org – including Map-a-Route, which allows you to easily create and share walking and biking routes to school. Explore bicycle safety resources and read about a school that integrated a Bike to School Day into an exemplary year-round biking program.
And, of course, we have a few other updates as well. We’re excited to offer a webinar about funding your SRTS program. And coming down the pipeline are our final Getting Results resource and an online walking school bus training program. We hope that these new resources will help you in your daily efforts to make walking and biking to school safer and more appealing for children all over the country.
This has been a bicycle-focused spring for the National Center and we’re enjoying every minute of it. We’ve always been excited about National Bike Month. This year, we’re so excited that May 9 is all about the kids.
All the best,
Director, National Center for Safe Routes to School