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Abernethy’s Successful Walk and Bike Model

2011 October 10
by kieljohnson

On Friday I did a “bike to school day” at Abernethy and I was very impressed by the system they have in place for promoting walking and biking to school. I really like how it creates a little community place in the morning and also serves to acknowledge kids and parents that walk and bike. There are four parent volunteers and every Friday two of them get to school a bit early and bring out a giant laminated map and a sign in sheet that has the names of everyone in the school with check boxes next to them. Anyone that walked or biked to school can put a check next to their name and a sticker on the map showing where they came from. You could even put the bike train route on the map so people could see how close they are to the train.

Once every month or so the principal pulls out some names of kids that signed in during lunch time in front of the entire school and gives those kids some prizes. The bike trains at Abernethy only run once a month. They found that a lot of people already bike to school and it was more difficult to get those families to be interested in waiting at the stops. There route and stops are the same routes and stops as the school bus. So instead of hoping on the bus you can just bring your bike and hop on the bike train.

The other big event at Abernethy is the “Tour De Ladd” where they close off some streets in Ladd’s Addition and kids bike around it to raise money for the school. Last year they raised $14,000 and this year it looks like they will have raised even more. Here is a news video clip from the event last year. Channel 8 Tour De Ladd

Lots of great ideas! I’m going to be sharing more as I visit more school. Here are some pictures, sorry for the low camera phone quality.

in the hallway of the school is this big board with info about walk and bike

putting stars next to their houses on the left

kids signing in

this is a little shelter out front of Abernethy that they use

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