September 30, 2013
Many of us know (and love) Safe Routes to School, but what about FUN Routes to School? There are plenty of ways to make walking, rolling, carpooling and taking transit fun for the kids:
- Bike Fairies leave notes of encouragement and praise on the handlebars of students bikes. Sometimes they also leave treats!
- Bike Trains are safety in numbers, groups of students and adults who meet at a central location to ride to school together. Many bike train conductors sport flashy signage, bells and whistles.
- TriMet Trekkers are fearless transit riders where one adult might chaperon several students along the route and walk them safely to their school destination
We're always looking for great inspiration to make walking, rolling, carpooling and taking transit fun. Among new ideas:
- Carpool is cool! We procured some great prizes for adult drivers. Anyone dropping off three students per car is entered into a raffle to win: movie tickets, Chinook Books, gift certificates for gas or coffee. Any other suggestions?
- Energizer stations: meet-up spots for middle school students (or even adult morning commuters) who walk & roll solo. Weekly or monthly treats provided at a central location before the head out to school together, a la breakfast on the bridges.
- Walking School Bus: it's an oldie but goodie. Meet new friends on your street or nearby streets. Sign up one adult to walk the route on a regular rotation, pick up kids along the way! Bring music to make it a party bus.
What are other fun, outlandish, crazy happy ideas to encourage transit, walking, rolling and carpooling? Some of our favorites include the musical harmonic swings at the bus stop and the keyboard that replaces the escalator. Maybe small gift certificates for the local toy shop to students on a walking school bus? Maybe expansion of the YouthPass program to younger students to provide free transit passes?
We'd love to hear how you roll at your school.