The days are colder and the sun rises a little later. Yet, many students brave the elements every morning to power themselves to school by walking or riding a bike, a scooter, or sharing a ride. Earlier this year, the GreenTown Los Altos Walk or Wheel (WoW!) Program, with the assistance of the Los Alto School District, Monteclare, and Bullis Charter schools, conducted a survey of students and how they arrived to school. With just one data point, there are some relevant details about Los Atlos children.
First off, students in grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade have about the same percentage who walk or wheel to school, roughly about a third of the class. Starting in 4th grade, there is a noticeable increase in students walking and wheeling. With each grade from 4th thru 8th, the jump of walk or wheel students increases by about 10%, with 70% of 7th and 8th grade students walking or wheeling. As such, our middle schools, Blach and Egan, lead the way.
As for the elementary schools, the top 5 WoW! participation schools all have active WoW! programs with enthusiastic parent volunteers. Hats off to Gardener Bullis, Monteclare, Oak, Santa Rita, and Springer! Surprisingly – the bottom four WoW! participation schools all have students who contend with Foothill Expressway each day. We see those two factors – active WoW! participation and finding alternatives to crossing Foothill Expressway – as the keys to increasing WoW! students for the upcoming year.
Next year, GreenTown has scheduled bike assemblies at the elementry schools, bike rodeos for all students in March at the middle schools, and “Drive that Bike” for 6th grade students in May. We are focusing on 5th and 6th grade students to increase WoW! participation. As we increase the awareness within those grades, we hope to see an uptick each year in the middle schools as 6th grade awareness becomes a 7th grade habit.
If you are interested in joining the momentum of educating our youth on the fun and benefits of walking or wheeling to school, and making a difference in Los Altos, contact firstname.lastname@example.org