Palermo Active Transportation Week
We wanted to educate staff and students about the benefits of active transportation and then empower and motivate students to use active transportation.
Before our active transportation week, we started by having each teacher survey their class to see how many students used active transportation (and what form) to get to school. During the week, we made daily announcements about the benefits of using active transportation and shared resources such as the bike month website, the school board’s walkability map, and the Halton Regional Police’s bike registry service. We also shared information about Oakville’s cycling bylaws so people can bike safely. Each student who used active transportation during that week was entered into a raffle and received a prize related to active transportation. These included things like water bottles, bike locks, bells and lights for bikes (because they are required by Oakville bylaws), as well as flashing bracelets for walking when there is less visibility. We also gave out some tire repair kits and purchased a repair kit and bike bump for the school so that we can make repairs on student bikes. We also had some gift card prizes for SportCheck so that students could pick up the equipment that they needed, such as helmets, bike repairs, etc.
We would like to make the active transportation week a yearly event, and eventually, we want to do things like run a bike repair workshop with some of our teachers who are more avid cyclists and maybe even have a repair station outside the school by the bike racks. We also talked about exploring how we could involve the larger community as well.
Reflection & Celebration
We felt like we had a good response to the event. We had 249 official entries into the raffle over the 4-day event, but we know that there were classes that sometimes forgot to enter the raffle and so total participation is probably more like 350+. We are a school of 530, so that feels like a good turnout to us. Our event was also interrupted and broken up over 2 weeks because of the bad air quality from the Quebec wildfires, which disrupted the momentum of the event but we still had a good turnout!
We heard from some primary classes that students had asked their parents to continue walking and biking to school every day, as they had enjoyed it so much, so we feel like we had a lasting impact!