According to its Facebook page, The Safe Routes to School National Partnership includes "more than 600 nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools and professionals working together to advance the Safe Routes to School movement in the United States."
The program is funded by the Wisconsin DOT and federal transportation dollars in the Badger State.
When I was a kid that's how most people got to school, but for myriad reasons, that's no longer the case. In fact, only around 10-14% get to school on foot power.
So, the Bike Federation folks are working with MPS schools to take us back to the future, offering a range of services to schools. They do education programs, bringing bikes and helmets and other materials to schools to teach kids safe riding in the street (which is the law after age 10) and on the sidewalk (which is the law before age 10).
Via in-school and after school programs, they show kids and families safe riding skills, safe routing to avoid dangerous thoroughfares and pedestrian safety.
They explain walking school bus and bike trains to get groups of kids to school safely, and they survey families to find out what concerns prevent them walking and riding to school. The results are shared in a national database to help improve walking and riding to school on a bigger level.
At the presentation I heard that the federation has worked with 15,000 MPS kids at more than 25 school sites annually. They've given away 150 bikes, 10,000 helmets and installed dozens of bike racks at schools.
So, next week, on Wednesday, Oct. 3, celebrate International Walk to School Day – if you can – by riding or walking to school. It's good exercise, good for the environment and it's fun.
At one MPS, Riverside, the Phy Ed curriculum includes biking along the Oak Leaf trail. Bikes and helmets were provided through a wellness grant and many staff members give up their prep period to ride along with PE classes. Riverside's Wellness program also runs after school biking trips including a Saturday day trip to the Elroy/Sparta Trail.
And the bikes racks outside the school (3 or 4 of them) are filled everyday...I guess when several of the founders of the RW24 teach there, it makes sense.
When I was a kid I commuted to school by bike all the time. Then my friends got old enough to drive a car, so I packed the bike away. Glad that didn't last too long. Nice to see we're bringing this kind of joy and exercise back to the kids.
2 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published May 27, 2015
There are some places in town that most everyone has seen from the outside, but that few have actually entered. St. John de Nepomuc rectory, 325 W. Court St., in the Haymarket Square neighborhood is one of those places.
Published May 27, 2015
For the reasons discussed here, I'm convinced that Milwaukee's simmering Haymarket Square area, just north of Downtown, is the city's next hot neighborhood. Here are some more reasons why...
Published May 26, 2015
OK, I admit that I've led you here under (potentially) false pretenses. What I really want is for you, dear readers, to tell me about the best pizzerias in Kenosha.
Published May 22, 2015
Back in 1996, some folks saw the closing of West Allis-West Milwaukee School District's Roosevelt School, 932 S. 60th St., as "inevitable" and that prediction came true later that year. Now, it seems that the demolition of the building might also be inevitable, though nothing has yet been officially decided.
Published May 20, 2015
It's that time of year again. The time when I'm thrilled that my kids are thrilled to sign up for Milwaukee Public Library's Super Reader summer reading program.
Published May 19, 2015
Standing amid the surviving buildings of the old Concordia College, it's easy to imagine what an inviting campus this was back in the day. Low-rise buildings - most of them in that collegiate gothic style that shouts "university" - surrounded the quad on all four sides, creating an intimate, protective environment. These days, most of the buildings survive and they're owned by the Forest County Potawatomi, which has plans to renovate the entire campus.
Published May 18, 2015
Leo Minor is a relatively faint constellation up in the northern sky that comprises an array of 37 distant stars. Closer to home Leo Minor is a nom de bass of local veteran musician Jason Todd. Though this Leo Minor is just one star, it draws on a vast array of musical influences. The latest result of the ongoing project is a white label vinyl 7" 45.
Published May 15, 2015
This morning the folks in the facilities department of the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District were kind enough to give me a tour of a closed school building. As an added bonus, my tour guide offered to show me an interesting school nearby, too. The contrast was striking.
Published May 14, 2015
Adventure Rock will host a groundbreaking next Wednesday for its new East Side location on the corner of Commerce and North.
Published May 13, 2015
I'm enjoying watching the progress of some vintage Milwaukee buildings being prepared for the future.