Dear Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools Partners and Champions,
The rain is here, and winter is coming! I hope your first few months of school have been full of learning and fun experiences. I’m excited to report that International Walk and Roll to School Day on October 2 was a huge success, with 160 schools and over 30,000 students participating across the county. Thanks to all our great staff and volunteers for making this an incredible day! Now, we look forward to kicking off the Golden Sneaker Contest. I hope you’re ready for a little friendly competition!
Beyond this newsletter, we’ll continue to keep you updated on events and opportunities to keep students safe and healthy via e-blasts and our website. Thank you for making the Alameda County SR2S Program a mainstay in your school!
Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools Program Manager
Reach Academy in East Oakland Makes Great Strides on International Walk and Roll to School Day
On International Walk and Roll to School Day, Reach Academy in East Oakland put on a shining demonstration of how the event can get a whole school community, students, families, and staff excited about active transportation.
Reach Academy celebrated walking and rolling to school by organizing a massive walking school bus with over 130 “passengers.” Families and students gathered at Verdese Carter Park, where festivities kicked off with trivia wheels and prizes. Participants then paraded down the sidewalk holding walking school bus signs that urged drivers to slow down in school zones.
All told, a total of 236 students used active or shared transportation to get to school, which is approximately 60% of Reach Academy’s student population! Principal Natasha Flint-Moore’s joyous response says it all: “I love this partnership! Thank you for all of this! This is awesome! I love Safe Routes to Schools! Thank you!”
Reach Academy’s big day serves as a great example of how partnerships can bring resources together to promote student safety. The festivities were supported by a Walk This Way grant from Safe Kids Worldwide. Our partners at Alameda County EMS, who lead the SafeKids Alameda County Coalition, invited Falk Ambulance, who brought out an ambulance for students to check out. FedEx also provided tours of their 18-wheeler trucks, and giveaways were provided thanks to the grant. Staff from some of these agencies also joined the walking school bus and helped run activities on the school grounds
Cocoa for Carpools Now Underway
Our next countywide event, Cocoa for Carpools, is happening now through February at participating high schools. This student‐led event rewards high schoolers who carpool to school with hot cocoa—a win for efforts to cut traffic congestion and harmful pollution around schools, and for their taste buds! Click here to learn more, or contact your site coordinator to get started.
Golden Sneaker Contest Register now for the Golden Sneaker Contest, which will run from February 24 through March 6, 2020. This classroom competition is one of our most fun and popular events because it encourages teamwork and cooperation—and because there's a chance to win a trophy made from Golden State Warriors players’ sneakers!
Here’s how it works: during the two-week contest period, classrooms track the number of students who walk, bike, skateboard, carpool, or ride transit (like the bus or BART) to school. The classroom at each school with the highest percentage of students using active or shared modes will receive a Golden Sneaker Trophy and a classroom prize.
The Alameda County SR2S Program provides all the necessary contest materials free of charge to each school that registers by January 11, 2020. Our site coordinators distribute these materials at the task force meetings, where they go over the event toolkit (especially calculating the winner) and encourage schools to exchange tips or best practices with each other.
The name and contact information for the contest coordinator (hint: this could be you 😊)
An estimate of the number of participating classrooms
The trophy from past years (for schools that have previously participated). If this is your first year, we’ll supply a trophy.
2020 Youth for the Environment and Sustainability (YES) Conference
The Spare the Air Youth YES Conference is back—bigger and better than ever! This FREE conference for high school and middle school students is a great opportunity to organize for climate action and share your ideas for climate solutions and active transportation. You can also make new friends from around the Bay Area and enjoy free food and giveaways.
Date: Saturday, March 28, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Location: El Camino High School, 1320 Mission Road (across the street from the South San Francisco BART Station) in South San Francisco, CA Register for the conference Submit a session proposal by Dec. 13, 2019
Now accepting applications!
The Volkswagen (VW) Mitigation Trust Fund for Zero-Emission
Transit, School, and Shuttle Buses
The VW Mitigation Trust has $130 million in funds to replace older, high-polluting transit, school, and shuttle buses with new battery-electric or fuel-cell buses. Replacing an older bus with a zero-emission bus eliminates particulate matter and other pollutants that impact children and residents throughout California communities; at least 50 percent of this trust's funding is expected to reduce emissions in disadvantaged or low-income communities.
This solicitation is open to eligible bus owners throughout California, and funding is available to both public and private entities on a first-come, first-served basis. Scrapping of old vehicles is required. Applications must be submitted electronically through the online portal.
The Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools Program is a program of the Alameda County Transportation Commission (alamedactc.org) and is funded with Alameda County's local sales tax Measure B, regional, state and federal funds.