2015 BtSW Stories

HUB Bike to School programs like Bike to School Week gets kids cycling! Read success stories from this year's event from across BC...

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Buckingham Elementary

Liz Cramb is a Grade 5/6 Teacher at Buckingham Elementary. She knows the benefits of cycling and tries to instil the importance of active transportation in her students as well. Too often she sees students driven and dropped off, leading to parking congestion issues including safety for all. Organising 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 where 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 them lock up their bike and place a sticker on the Bike to School Week poster to show that they had biked to school. Liz says that this student leadership style of running Bike to School Week fills an important role 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 is more parking space 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 organising and running Bike to School Week so they feel needed and wanted, and take ownership over the event.

Liz Cramb

Whistler Waldorf

Our school has 170 students enrolled, from Kindergarten to Grade 11. Students LOVED biking to school this week, and really took up the challenge. A wet start to the week saw 23 student cyclists brave the rain – just over 13% of total students. Arriving on cross-country bikes, dirt-jumpers, BMX and road bikes, carrying backpacks and even violins, everyone riding was smiling!

It’s not just bikers at Whistler’s Waldorf School: alternate active transport included students walking to school from Whistler’s many neighbourhoods, as well as skateboarding, scooting, riding the bus and carpooling.

As part of their Environment and Ecology studies, high-school teacher Lucien Power gave his Grade 10 & 11 students a “Green Challenge” – to extend Bike to School Week into ‘Bike to School Month.’ Several high school students are committed to riding to and from school each day for the month to make a tangible difference each day and lesson their environmental impact.

Even the school’s littlest children – enrolled in Parent-tot classes, aged 3 – rode their bikes to school. One mom rode her skateboard in so she and her son could stay together on the trails on the way to class.

On average, just over 1 out of every 5 students chose to bike every day on bike to school week.

Nina Moore

Henry Hudson Elementary

Bike to School at Hudson continues to be a big success! Last spring, Henry Hudson recorded and impressive 368 bike trips during Bike to School Week! Here are a few of the fun things they did to get more students riding:

  • Hosted a Biker’s Breakfast for parents, teachers, and students before school
  • Invited a local bike shop to come and give bike safety checks
  • Bike maintenance classes for students led by teachers who are avid riders
  • Held a bike-decorating, skills-riding noon hour 

“More and more kids seem to be biking more often and much more independently to school here. This year, we had so many bikes locked up all around the school that I couldn’t capture it in pictures!”  Click here for their full story.  

Chantal Minten

Hammond Bay Elementary

One great story from one of our riders - a girl in Kindergarten rode to school for the first time on her run bike.  When she got home that day, she decided she was ready for a 2 wheeler and hasn't looked back since.  She is now asking to ride to school everyday!!

Cheryl Headey

Eagles in the Sky Out of School Care

We are a before-and-after school care program responsible for 40  children, all of which attend three different Vancouver schools (Hastings, Lord Nelson, and Macdonalds Elementary).  During Bike to School Week, our children from the OSC program rode their bikes and walked to school; our bus driver left the van at the parking lot for the entire week and walked with us to school everyday!  

We also had a staff responsible for biking to Hastings Elementary with children who were able to bring bikes and helmets from home. This group met with other Hastings parents and their children at the Adanac and Semlin biking meet up location.  One morning we had a group of approximately 20 children riding their bikes together in a beautiful single file formation.  We had other cyclists cheering us on and the kids were so proud to be biking alongside their parents, friends and other commuters.  We saw big smiles all around.  

The children in our program loved getting to school on foot/bike and hope to continue to do so until the end of the school year. Thank you for encouraging our centre to walk/bike to school!

Sarah Batko

Ross Road Elementary

My friend and fellow parent has 3 children - one in grade 1 and the two who are not yet of school age.  Last year, when her son was in kindergarten, he was too timid to ride his bike to school.  He would see my daughter ride past his house in the mornings and see her at school with her bike, and he really wanted to ride, but was only comfortable riding on his street.

This year, my friend came up to me at school and told me that it was because of Bike to School Week that her family now bikes to school - her son and her younger daughter are on their bikes while she runs along side with the stroller! She thanked me and said it was because of this great event that her family now cycles to school!

Jackie Hicks

Frances Kelsey Secondary

We had a total of 27 student trips last week; while that may not seem like a lot in a school of almost 1000 students, we are in a somewhat rural area where about 90% of our student population ride school buses to and from campus.

We had two students who rode every day last week and one student who rode 80 km to and from her home!! She lives out of our catchment area near Lake Cowichan and she used the Trans-Canada Trail to get to and from school.

Brad Niessen

Hillcrest Middle School

We had a successful Bike to School Week, with more students than ever participating!  It was super-exciting to see kids running to me in the mornings telling me they biked to school.  Our bike racks were overfilled with bikes, so much so that students were parking their bikes in the classrooms!  

And once again, we kicked off BTSW with a convoy of students riding to the nearby celebration station at Foster and Poirier.  The students appreciated the refreshments and free bike mechanic service.  It so happened that I had a flat on the ride there and the mechanic graciously replaced my tube for me!  Celebration stations are awesome!  

I've had a parent share with me that their child has really enjoyed biking to school and that he often takes a long and convoluted ride home so that he can be on his bike longer!

Our school has been bike crazy in May with the Ride the Road program at our school in the past couple of weeks AND a school sponsored trip to Kettle Valley. You will see a HUB sticker on a helmet of a student who went on the KVR.  It really has made a difference and you could feel the bike culture in the school.  I am definitely noticing a lot more students biking to school this year compared to years past.

We've had 267 trips logged during BTSW!  Our biggest showing yet!  The kids were super excited with the daily draw prizes (thank you!), but many of them were just happy to see the stickers go on the poster.  Thank you for helping us encourage students to bike to school!

Tu Loan Trieu

Port Alberni Christian School

We are a small independent school with most students living well beyond 5 km away from the school. The student who rode to school did so diligently.

One thing that stood out were her words to her mother. “We should ride to school everyday. It is fun and exercise. We don’t use the car. We can ride to other places too.”

Jodi Schulz

Ecole Robb Road

  • # of students who biked to school each day during B2S week: 226 (Over 50% of the student population)
  • # of total kilometres biked to school from students during B2S week: 2,009
  • # of students who biked, walked or scootered (any form of Active Travel) to school during BtSW: 356 (80% of our student population)
  • # of students who found a true passion for pedalling and became lifelong active travellers: COUNTLESS!

Following the grand success of BtSW 2014, we knew we wanted to plan for an ever bigger and better event at Ecole Robb Road, so we started planing early! At our Earth Day Assembly, we reviewed our Best Routes Map for safely biking or walking to school and encouraged everyone to bike or walk to school following Earth Day.  Our number of active travellers were already steadily improving, even before the week.  Our school organized a Community Bike Swap at the end of April which not only provided opportunity for our students but members of the community to pick up a new set of wheels, just in time for BtSW.

Our Bike Swap not only helped set our school up for success for BtSW, but we also raised funds towards the building of a permanent bike shelter, at the school.  Additionally, in preparation for BtSW, in late April our school did an Active Travel PhotoVoice Project on how the built environments can help or hinder active school travel.  This project was then presented to our town council in an effort to bring about meaningful infrastructure changes to promote active travel at our school and community. 

Bike to School Week was a fantastic event for our students and brought us as a school-community even closer together.  We all enjoyed seeing students so proud of themselves for biking all the way from home to school. The kids were so pumped and excited about biking to school and it's certain many students will continue to bike to school. Our participation numbers as well as the distance travelled indicates our school's commitment to promoting active school travel.  

However, the best outcome from BtSW was the opportunity it created for so many families to realize biking to school is a truly attainable and fun goal, with so many benefits. BtSW 2015 may be over but the number of students biking to school continues to soar with our racks still overflowing on Monday June 1st!  

Thank you to HUB and HASTe BC for helping to facilitate BtSW events at schools all over the province.  Ecole Robb Road, with the support of HUB will continue to promote cycling as a fun, safe and healthy means of school transportation...before, during and after Bike to School Week!

Lauren Lan

Frances Kelsey Secondary

We had a total of 27 student trips last week; while that may not seem like a lot in a school of almost 1000 students, we are in a somewhat rural area where about 90% of our student population ride school buses to and from campus.

We had two students who rode every day last week and one student who rode 80 km to and from her home!! She lives out of our catchment area near Lake Cowichan and she used the Trans-Canada Trail to get to and from school.

Brad Niessen

 

Lynn Valley Elementary

We had another fantastic year of Bike to School Week at Lynn Valley Elementary (LVE). It is now our 3rd year of participating.

BtSW has become a May tradition at LVE. From early May onwards, children start to ask, "When is Bike to School Week", "Are we doing BtSW again", "I can't wait for BtSW".  We start plugging our event with an information package for parents, an eye-catching rolling notice board which is displayed in prominent locations at drop off and pick up and having LVE children design and put up posters around the school. The creativity of the visuals is the first part of our launch and always entices people to start talking about BtSW.

Our numbers this year were very strong - we had about 50% of the school arrive by bike over the course of the week and 73% of the school actively traveled during the week. Also, we are seeing an upward trend in number of kids biking and actively traveling to school in the Intermediate Grades. This is promising as they become the near-term high-schoolers who actively travel to school and eventually, maybe even consider bike commuting to their first jobs or post-secondary institutions.

We were exceptionally pleased with the biking stats, as this year, we did not have any in-school cycling instruction for which children HAD to bring a bike to school. So we feel the 50% is a true indication of children CHOOSING to ride to school because they want to!

There were 50 bikes in the bike racks on the Monday after BtSW and I hope that we have robust numbers for the rest of June. I feel that I do see more kids on bikes and kids on bikes who previously did not know how or did not enjoy cycling.

Thank you for running the province wide initiative- it is awesome to see so many more schools joining in. What are the dates for 2016 as we are planning the next school year already?

Barb Towns

Bridgeview Elementary

We are a small school with a whole lot of spirit! We had students bike to school while parents walked with them, grandparents bike with little ones on the back and a few families all bike together! Our school had a bike rally on Wednesday where the students could ride their bikes on the field around a cone track.

Not all families at our school can afford bike so those students who had theirs shared so that everyone could have a turn. It was beautiful to watch. One of the teachers helped to make sure that all the helmets were fitted properly and students who were not biking the track were skipping, cheering, and practicing their hand signals. Fun was had by all!

Sarah Welton

Ellison Elementary

Ellison elementary students, staff, parents and families welcomed Bike to School week with a wonderful showing of enthusiasm and dedication. From the first day to the end of the week, we had line-ups to register names and methods of getting to school. The bike rack was overflowing, and we had to double-up spaces to fit all the bakes in the racks. There were many smiles and much laughter, and many clear bright rosy faces that arrived at school every morning that week.

There were older siblings with their younger brothers and sisters biking together, staying close to each other and helping to watch out for traffic to keep them safe. Sometimes older kids can leave the younger ones behind. This whole week they were a team and worked together.

Jacqueline Taylor

Pacific Way Elementary

Bike to School Week highlights:

  • Kids talked about how fun it was to bike down the hill at top speed to get to the school.
  • Kids would get to the school about half an hour early so that they could ride around the school before the day started.
  • I heard many parents talk about how cool it was to be biking down towards school and to see the celebration station set up.
  • One mom talked about how this has helped the family become more active and they plan to keep bike-riding until the end of June.
  • One mom walked her kindergarten child to school on the first day of Bike to School Week with a push bike (big handle) all the way up a big hill and then down again in the rain. What a trooper!

I spoke with our principal about how we can plan earlier for next year to make more active transport events for the children at the school.

Jillian Humphrey

Torquay Elementary

Torquay school students and staff really enjoyed posting the stickers. We used new stickers and recorded 4 days of biking with different stickers. Classes are now using the poster for graphing purposes in math.

Cindy Harte

 

Southlands Elementary

Southlands Elementary has had zero bike riders all school year up until this week.  

By Tuesday our bike racks had overflowed!  But perhaps the best part is that the bike racks are still nearly full today with no events, no prizes, just an enjoyment of riding.

Wendy Swain

Ridgeway Elementary - Bike to School Week Poem

We are a neighbourhood school,
Chauffeured in cars was an unwritten rule.
HASTe came along and signed us up for Bike to School Week,
We though ... "How unique!"
Now cycling to school got us amazing events, prizes and treats.
No more do we want to sit in our parent’s backseats.
Learned that riding to school is easy and fun,
This week has taught us more can be done.
We will keep up this challenge into next year,
As we cycle to school in high gear.

We thank HUB and KIND for the amazing breakfast
MEC North Vancouver for getting our bikes in top condition
North Shore Safety Council for the Bike Rodeo
Parachute, Coastal Health, Save On Foods (Capilano), RCMP and the City of North Vancouver for prizes and treats
PAC for volunteers
HASTe for helping us see that riding to school can be COOL.

Carol Sartor

Doncaster Elementary

Doncaster Elementary has participated in Bike to School Week, and Spring walking challenges, for a number of years. Many students, parents and teachers are familiar with the events of the week.

We had tremendous support from local business, two bike shops and a running store, who supplied fantastic prizes (and motivation) for the Bike to School events! During Bike to School Week nearly half of the school biked, walked or scooted to school, and car trips were reduced to just one-third. A Pre-Bike to School Week survey had indicated that on an average day nearly half of the students arrive by car and only 10% bike.

There was also friendly competition between classes. The class with the highest participation during Bike to School Week was awarded the “Golden Shoe” trophy. Since Bike to School Week the bike racks continue to be full to over-flowing! It has been great to see the participation and enthusiasm as students enjoy active ways of travelling to school.