Tu Loan Trieu leads an active lifestyle and attempts to cycle to work at least a couple of days a week (it is an hour commute one way!). Last year she was the athletic coordinator at Hillcrest Middle School and organized Bike to School Week for the second time. She believes that cycling education leads to lifelong skills and instills good, healthy practices in youth.
Last year Hillcrest Middle School was awarded a brand new bike for having achieved the highest ridership for all middle schools in the province. Tu Loan “framed” Bike to School Week last year as training for the school’s Kettle Valley cycling trip that took place at the end of the same week. The trip, combined with Bike to School Week, meant that, in Tu Loan's words “bike culture at the school really blossomed in 2015”.
The school recently completed HASTe’s School Travel Planning program, and in the spring of last year HUB and Cycling BC provided bike education workshops for students. Leading up to Bike to School Week, newsletters were sent home and announcements were made on a daily basis. On the Wednesday of Bike to School Week, Tu Loan took a group of students to the nearby Bike to Work Week celebration station, which was a highlight for students because there were snacks and prizes available in addition to those handed out at school. Lots to celebrate!
In order to achieve success for Bike to School Week, Tu Loan says that coordinators should be passionate and enthusiastic about cycling. She believes that school staff and administration should be riding too in order to get uptake from the kids, and, of course, having prizes available for students is a great way to increase participation.
Stay tuned for more profiles over the coming weeks and follow the links to register for this year's event!
Liz Cramb is a Grade 5/6 Teacher at Buckingham Elementary in Burnaby. She knows the benefits of cycling, and tries to instill a sense of understanding of the importance of active transportation in her students as well. All too often she sees students being driven and dropped off, leading to parking and congestion issues including decreased safety for all. Organizing Bike to School Week is Liz’s tool for getting kids out of cars and onto their bikes.
Liz coordinated Bike to School Week for the first time last year and approached it as a leadership opportunity for her students. This came from the social studies curriculum in which senior elementary students are meant to implement a plan of action to address a community issue, which in this case is both health of individuals and safety. Her students made posters and gave presentations in other classes to promote Bike to School Week. Greeters from her class welcomed students who biked to school each day by helping lock them up and place a sticker on the Bike to School Week poster to show that they had biked to school. Liz says that the student leadership style of running Bike to School Week is important because “the older kids need to feel needed, wanted, and able to contribute”.
This year Liz hopes to have a temporary bike rack installed at the school so there will be more parking spaces for bikes. She also hopes to have more prizes donated from local businesses and maybe have bike tune-ups the week before Bike to School Week so everyone’s bike is ready to go. Liz’s advice to other schools? Get the students involved in organizing and running Bike to School Week so they feel needed and wanted, and take ownership of the event.
Stay tuned for more profiles over the coming weeks and follow the links to register for Bike to School Week 2016.