It is official, Vienna Elementary School had 128 bikes in the racks on the last day of Walking Wednesdays and Wolftrap Elementary School had 82 bikes in the racks on the last day of Wolfie’s Bike Train.
Congrats to both schools and their leaders, Sean McCall and Jeff Anderson, for a phenomenal year of walking and bicycling to school! The momentum in Vienna is infectious and we are hearing about parents and school leaders at other Fairfax County schools interested in starting their own Safe Routes to School program. I also hear plans are already in the works for next year, I am excited to learn how these schools top their successes from this year!
Post from June 11, 2012
This is the kind of news I like to wake up to! Vienna Elementary School (VES) is trying to set an all-Vienna school record with 100 kids bicycling on the last Walking Wednesday of the year, which is this Wednesday. They came close last Friday with 92 kids bicycling to school and filling up bike racks. Sean McCall, Safe Routes to School Coordinator for the school is convinced they can do it!
VES and the other Vienna elementary schools have shown what happens when a few parents engage in Safe Routes to School. They energize their principals, the students and other parents. They have figured out how to change the culture in their schools with a manageable amount of effort. The spirit is infectious, VES has Walking Wednesdays and Wolftrap Elementary School has Wolfie’s Bike Train. Once these schools were successful, other schools in the community took notice. Truly believing in Safe Routes to School, the parents who have done it talked with the parents at new schools. Wolfie’s Bike train leader Jeff Anderson even rode with a new bike train at Marshall Road Elementary to help parents there feel more comfortable.
All the excitement culminated in the Bike/Walk Challenge with over 1,400 kids at five Vienna elementary schools walking or bicycling in a single day!! Even though VES took two awards in the Challenge, the momentum could not be stopped and now they want the single day record for number of kids bicycling to school.
VES has also pulled in community partners, Caffe Amouri provides free coffee for parents who walk or bicycle with their children to school. Wolfie’s Bike Train has had local professional cyclists, their principal and the Fairfax County Bike Coordinator ride. The Vienna Patch has been hugely supportive and served as the officiant of the Bike/Walk Challenge this year, publishing results each day.
Safe Routes to School is a community effort and the community benefits from kids walking and bicycling to school. Kids are healthier and arrive at school ready to learn, parents have the chance to talk with each other and there are less cars on the road in morning traffic.