Programs and Campaigns
There are a number of ideas that can be implemented into your schools Safe Routes to School Program. Each program or campaign can be tailored to your specific needs and requirements to promote higher participation rates. Below is a list of Programs and Campaigns that TransOptions offers schools in Northwest New Jersey free of charge.
Stop + Walk Program
Stop & Walk program is aimed at those travelling far distances to reach their school and encourages parents driving their children to drop-off or pick-up their children 2-4 blocks away from school. The goal is to:
- Reduce the congestion and wait times in and around school zones
- Empower children to be able to complete the trip to school on their own
- Increase the safety in school zones for those that are walking and bicycling by reducing the number of vehicles arriving/departing
Adopting and promoting parents to drop their children a few blocks away from school can greatly reduce the number of cars that enter the campus and improve the air quality in schools.
Are you waiting in line to drop off or pick up your child from school? Turn off your engine!
Idling your car has drastic impacts fiscally and environmentally! Each day, Americans waste approximately 3.8 million gallons of gasoline by voluntarily idling their cars. While all idling is bad for the car engine, this campaign is in place to address volunteer idling which occurs when the car is not in traffic but is still running. When you idle in front of a school building, the air intake for the school’s HVAC system absorbs the noxious fumes that your tailpipe is emitting, and is being dispersed throughout the classrooms where YOUR children are learning. Reducing the amount of cars that drive onto school’s campus improves the air quality within the school itself.
If you are interested in establishing an Anti-Idling Campaign at your school, please contact Joseph Caravella at 973-267-7600 or send him an email here.
Walking School Bus Program
A Walking School Bus is just like a regular school bus, but without the walls and seats, and instead of wheels, we use our feet. Walking in greater numbers makes you more visible to drivers thereby increasing the safety of the children walking.
How it Works:
- Identify a Walking School Bus “Driver” to be in charge of chaperoning the walk to school. Identify and establish walking routes from various “drivers” homes and locate “bus stops” along that route where other children can gather and be “picked up.”
- The “bus” will travel to the school while picking up other children along the way, and are escorted to the front door of the school building.
- Identify more than one “driver” to switch off responsibilities and make it flexible for everyone.
Bike Train Program
A Bike Train is an organized group of students who ride into school together (with adult supervision). Based on the Walking School Bus model, the Bike Train is an easy way to get a group of kids in your neighborhood more active.
Riding your bike to school is fun! Teach your children the importance of having them get from one place to another on their own, and reduce the reliance of having to drive them everywhere!
Frequent Walker Program
The frequent walker program is designed to encourage kids to walk or bike to school on a more consistent basis. Punch cards are given to any and all students that they will carry with them to/from school. When a student walks to school, or will be walking home that day, their teacher punches a hole in the card. The card needs to be punched 20 times (equivalent to walking every day for a month) to be filled, and then the student is eligible for an incentive. Examples of incentives include but are not limited to:
- Homework passes
- Extra Credit
- Lunch outside
- Extra recess
- Reading Time
- Pencils, erasers, bookmarks, and other small prizes
You could turn the Frequent Walker Program into a healthy competition, whether it is an intra-school, where classrooms can compete against other classrooms, or a school against school competition. If one is looking to create a competition, the Golden Sneaker Award Program may work best for you.
Golden Sneaker Award Program
The Golden Sneaker Award is a trophy that has a sneaker that is spray-painted gold mounted to a based that can house small plaques. The winners of the award will have their team or school name engraved on the plaque, and can be displayed in the schools trophy case. The Golden Sneaker Award Program can involve school vs. school competition, or an intra-school competition. The classroom or school that walked or biked to school the most days will win the Golden Sneaker Award.
The first Wednesday of every October, parents and students throughout America join millions around the world who are improving their health, their community and having a ton of fun by walking or biking to school together.