Get Moving on Bike to School Day
Whether you have wheels or not, celebrate this exciting day with movement before, during and after school.Read More
Similar to Walk to School programs, Bike to School programs are a great way to help kids get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day. A bike to school program is great for schools to promote active transportation along with a social opportunity for parents and students to connect outside of school hours and allow students to improve their bicycle safety skills. Programs frequently are structured to take into consideration the 5 E’s of safe routes to school. The Five E’s of Safe Routes to School include: Education, Encouragement, Engineering, Enforcement, and Evaluation.
Activities such as these help students explore…
Self-Awareness and Self-Management: Biking serves as a great opportunity for mindfulness and self-reflection. Not only does it get your blood flowing, but it also gets kids outside in nature which can serve as a refreshing environment to reflect on one’s day and tool for better stress management
Relationship Skills: Forming a bike to school group can lead to social benefits which extend far beyond the obvious benefits of increased physical activity. Biking to school with a group of peers and parents provides opportunities for children to build relationships with neighbors and work together as a part of a team to make it home safely. Think of bike to school movements as a social opportunity for both children and parents to talk about their day and share amongst one another.
Starting small is okay! Start doing Bike to School days once a month until you can build awareness and increase participation. Promote, promote, promote! Promote the program during Parent Teacher Association meetings, staff meetings, back-to-school packets, morning announcements and flyers around the school
Not sure when you should get started? Consider piloting or launching your Bike to School initiative during National Bike to School Day (May each year).
Create and maintain safety guidelines. For example: Determine adult per child ratio (The CDC recommendation is 1:3 for children under 10; 1:6 for children over 10), ensure adults are at the start and end of the biking group, and confirm that students have basic transportation safety knowledge.
Be mindful of students with mobility, medical, cognitive, sensory, and social –psychological needs. Schools should use their discretion when determining how to best support students participating in these programs.
Designate a Safe Routes to School champion in your school building to be responsible for overseeing the program. Encourage them to reach out to a Safe Routes to School partner in your state for resources, technical assistance and support. Be prepared. Have extra supplies on hand in case of emergencies such as first aid kits. Consider providing brightly colored t-shirts or vests to parent and community volunteers so they can be seen and identified as Bike to School Ambassadors.
Organize and train parent and community volunteers who can help chaperone the bike to school programs and events. Clearly outline their roles and responsibilities. You may also consider recruiting participation from older students to be leaders and role models for Bike to School programs, serving as crossing guards and participants.
Map the routes and drop off points for each program or event. Take time to find the quickest and safest route to ensure students are safe and on time for school. Create a flyer with route, drop-off locations, timeframes, and other important information to be sent home with students.
Develop a plan to ensure your students’ bikes are safe and secure. Do you have an available space at your school? Turn it into a bike room! School staff or parents can monitor the room in the morning, lock it during the day and open the room after school. Install bike racks! Determine the best location for bike racks, the number of racks needed, and which types of racks would be best. Consider that some students may use scooters or skateboards and will also need storage.
Get help through donations and funding! Apply for a school grant to raise funds to purchase bike racks and implement bike programs. Identify and collaborate with local bike shops. They are the experts! Let them know about the program or event and ask for their support. They can help you organize the logistics, identify equipment needs, determine safety rules to review, and help at events by planning a bike course or bike stations.
For more activities and ideas like this one, be sure to sign up for our news and updates. And if you like what you see, please donate to support our work creating more ways to help build a healthier future for kids.
Categories: Physical Activity & Play, At School, Digital Resource