Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District students, parents, and staff are taking part in Bike It! Walk It! Week at local schools through May 10.
Bike It! Walk It! encourages school students and staff to leave the car at home and utilize alternative modes of transportation.
Approximately 30 percent of district students at 14 different schools participated in the event last fall, saving approximately 12,000 car trips, school officials said.
This year, local officials were invited to show their support for the Safe Routes to School program by joining “walking school buses” to Roosevelt Elementary School and Will Rogers Learning Center, and
“bike trains” of students and parents to Lincoln and John Adams middle schools.
The schools participating in the event Friday, May 10 include:
Edison Language Academy, Grant Elementary, Franklin Elementary, McKinley Elementary, John Adams Middle School, Juan Cabrillo Elementary and Will Rogers Learning Community.
Events at the four Safe Routes to School pilot project schools – Roosevelt Elementary, Lincoln Middle School, John Adams and Will Rogers – mark the culmination of the Car-Free Contest, a friendly competition
geared to making walking and biking to school a healthy habit. Students tracked trips made to school by bike, walking, and transit, and the “car-free” miles counted towards monthly incentives.
The pilot project is managed by the city of Santa Monica in
partnership with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, and Parent-Teacher-Student Associations. Funding for the project has been provided by Metro, the California Department of Transportation and the city of Santa Monica.
The goal of the project is to help school-aged children become comfortable bicycling and walking to school. Throughout the 2012-13 school year, a range of educational workshops, classes, fun events and contests have aimed to teach children and parents greater confidence in safe walking and bicycling, and raising awareness of the benefits of arriving at school by foot or by bike.