Just a generation ago, almost half of all kids in the US biked or walked to school. Today, less than 15% of kids arrive at school under their own power. Conversely, childhood obesity rates have more than tripled in the past 30 years.
The Bicycle Alliance of Washington is leading a project in south King County designed to reverse this trend. Funded by King County Public Health, we are working with Feet First, school districts, community groups, and fantastic volunteers to bring Safe Routes to School to underserved communities in this region.
School and community members are invited to participate in walking and biking audits around schools to become familiar with traffic flow, hazards and barriers to biking and walking. We also train teachers how to instruct students on bicycle and pedestrian safety using a proven curriculum and we provide a fleet of kids bikes for use by the schools. Teachers have been trained in Kent, Renton, Seatac, and Auburn elementary schools.
“It’s exciting to have an opportunity to improve the social equity of communities,” commented project manager John Vander Sluis. “People living in low-income neighborhoods have real challenges to accessing regular exercise and nutritious food. The Bicycle Alliance has a chance to make a serious impact with this project.”
Volunteers are needed.
The Bicycle Alliance is looking for volunteers to assist teachers with bike safety skills training in the participating schools. No experience is required – just follow the teacher’s instructions. Time commitment is flexible and times vary.
We’re also looking for a pickup truck and driver with some flexibility this spring to move bikes and trailers between schools in south King County. The truck must be rated to pull around 2000 pounds, and a receiver hitch or 2 5/16” ball mount is preferred.
Contact John Vander Sluis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.224.9252 x324 if you can help us out.