April 2024 Safe Routes to School Newsletter

In This Newsletter:

  • Bike Smart Summer Scheduling
  • Inspiration from a Shelburne Student
  • Spring Walk and Roll to School Months and the Muddy Boot Award
  • Reminder: Free Helmets if you fill out Travel Tallies & Family Surveys!
  • Show and Tell: Share your Photos and Tell us of your Activities
  • Free National Webinar: Engaging and Including Students with Disabilities in Safe Routes Programs
  • What’s Next


Bike Smart Summer Scheduling

Now is the time to put in your request for a Bike Smart trailer for your summer program or camp. Deadline: June 4th. Those who submit their request by May 14th will increase their chance of getting on the schedule, as we would love to get a jump on the scheduling! 

Burke Town School students on Bike Smart Bikes

Our Bike Smart program teaches students all across Vermont how to bike smartly, safely, and confidently thanks to our classrooms on wheels. Vermont schools and summer programs can now borrow the Bike Smart trailer -- full of kids' bikes and all equipment and supplies needed for on-bike skills training at a heavily prorated fee.  Schools and camps must have someone on staff trained in the Bike Smart On Bike curriculum in order to be eligible to request the trailer and bikes. There are no group training opportunities scheduled at this point.  We will travel to schools to conduct training on-site, or run an online training--depending on preference and availability.  

Inspiration from a Shelburne Student Thomas, Youth Bike Mayor of Shelburne

Meet Thomas: daily bike rider and student member of the Shelburne Bike and Pedestrian Paths Committee and the co-chair of the Shelburne Forward Bike & Pedestrian Task Force. We’re calling him the Youth Bike Mayor of Shelburne!

Put Spring in your Step and Mud on your Spokes!  Spring Activity Options

April and May are Walk and Roll Months–celebrate as often as you want!  Although the official Walk and Roll to School Day is May 8th, any day is a great time to walk and bike to school. We all know this time of year is Vermont’s Fifth Season - Mud Season. Why not celebrate with a Muddy Boot Award?  

Muddy Boot Award trophyThe Muddy Boot Award is an interclass competition within a school that encourages students to log active transportation miles as a group. Students collectively count the number of trips they walk or “roll” (bicycle, skateboard, rollerblade, etc) to school, all the way or part of the way. Schools can decide if they want to include carpooling or busing as an option as well. At the end of each month (or week), the trips are totaled and the homeroom with the most trips wins the Muddy Boot trophy to display in their classroom (or to be displayed in a prominent spot in the school with their class name on it) for the upcoming month/week, until the next classroom wins it.

Parks, Not Parking

This program is based on Park(ing) Day, which occurs internationally in September on roadway parking. School-Based Parks, Not Parking, is based in the school parking lot, and can happen any time in the year (why not this spring?). This activity allows your school community to transform a ho-hum parking space into an effervescent mini-park (also known as a parklet) while also encouraging people-powered transportation!  Be sure to share your photos with us. 

Resources for You 

Want some materials to make your event go more smoothly?  Go here to get posters, volunteer recruitment posters, parent send-home letters, and more!

Snip of various posters

Reminder: Free Helmets for Schools that fill out Travel Tallies and Family Surveys!

Data collection is at the heart of making sure our programs are successful!  To qualify as a Safe Routes to School Partner, schools must perform at least one complete Travel Tally and Family Survey annually.

Travel Tallies and Family Surveys are quick and easy!  Travel Tallies can be done at the same time as attendance, and take about 5 minutes to complete.  Schools only need to run two days of travel tallies over the course of one week.

When you complete your travel tallies and family surveys, your school will earn 16 helmets and helmet education materials, such as helmet fit guide cards and family's guides to safe bicycling essentials! Schools that actively participate in Safe Routes to School (plan events, do travel tallies and parent surveys, etc) are also eligible to receive Local Motion's educational programming for free, as well as priority scheduling for Bike Smart.  

Travel Tally Informational Letter to Colleagues: Travel Tally- Email- Homeroom Teachers-new SRTS schools

Family Surveys are even easier!  Just send a link to the form to families in either your newsletter or in an email, and encourage them to fill out the survey.   We have sample text to send to families here: Family Newsletter Blurb

Show and Tell

So that we can report to our grantors AND showcase the amazing work that schools are doing with Safe Routes to School in Vermont,  please send us your photos, or better yet, submit your own photos here!  Be sure to use the comment tool for the photos to indicate where your photos are from.

SRTS Regional Coordinator, Amy Brewer, reported that Williston Central School had many participants in their April Walk & Roll to School Day, including 

  • 71 walking students
  • 9 rolling students
  • 14 parents/guardians, in addition to the walk leaders 
  • 5 dogs

Overtime, participation is growing as shown in the chart below.

Williston Walk & Roll Days participation graph

Please complete the Activity Report Form if your school had any Safe Routes to School events this month. 

Here’s how to add photos:

  1. Go to the album
  2. Click on “add photo” in the top right cornerGoogle Photos album toolbar snip
  3. Add photos
  4. Add comments on your photos by clicking on the photo and clicking on comments, and state the school name for the photos

Google photo album comment snip

Free National Webinar

May 15th - From Safe Routes Partnership Safe Routes Partnership logo

Walk, Bike, and Roll series: Engaging and Including Students with Disabilities in Safe Routes Programs

This session will explore strategies and best practices for engaging and including students with disabilities in Safe Routes programs. Our expert panelists will share how they lead and participate in inclusive programs, how they partner with local champions, and how other Safe Routes practitioners can make their programs more inclusive and accessible.

What’s Next

May 2024

Spring Walk & Roll to School Challenge

Parks Not Parking (any day in May)

May 8:   National Spring Walk & Roll to School Day

May 15th: Free Webinar: Engaging and Including Students with Disabilities in Safe Routes Programs

June 2024

June 4:  Deadline for Summer Bike Smart Request Form

Happy Walking, Biking and Rolling!

The Safe Routes to School Team:

Amy Brewer, Regional Coordinator: Franklin and Grand Isle Counties
Bonnie Hooper, Regional Coordinator: Chittenden County
Daniel Liguori, Outreach & Encouragement Specialist
Susan Grasso, Complete Streets Program Associate