Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Walking Wednesday WOW!!

We had more than 150 kids walk to Daniel Bagley or before-school care this morning (possibly more, but it was tricky to count amidst the chaos).  That's more than 1/3 of the school!

Most of the pre-set routes started about a mile away from school, but there were kids walking almost 1.5 miles this morning.  The average commute for Bagley families is ~ 1/2 mile, so as a community, we probably logged around 75 kid-miles this morning.  That's approximately 7500 calories burned, and 75 lbs of CO2 saved by not driving!  (These statistics are a little broad-brush, but you get the point)

Many thanks to the dozens of parents and caregivers who walked today either on their own or as part of a group, and especially to our tireless and safety-conscious volunteers and route leaders:  Lynn, Mary, Debby, Erin, Rebecca, June, Sue, Camille, Cecile,  Marisa, Kim, Carole, Clara and Lisa.  I apologize if I've left anyone off the list!

Thank you also to our program and event sponsors:  Jen at Feet First & Safe Routes to Schools, Julie from the Cascade Bicycle Club, and Jim with the City of Seattle's Aurora Safety Traffic Project.

If you'd like your student to walk regularly with a group, our Walking School Bus is happening year-round, on Friday mornings (Thursdays on Erin's route):

If you walk on your own and/or on other mornings, and would like a safety vest, bright orange flag, or a Walk to School green sign, let us know - we have a few extras.

Also, look for our nifty walk/bike-to-school charm bracelets for the cool commuting kids, starting next week.

--Lexy & Brooke

p.s. If you have photos, stories, or #s of walkers, please send them in so we can compile.  Thanks!

Walk To School Day Route Map

View Bagley Walk to School Routes in a larger map

Or go to link:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Walk to School Day - this Wednesday!

Join millions of other students from around the world as we walk to school!

Routes are shown on the map above.  No need to RSVP, just join the group as they pass by.  We're walking RAIN OR SHINE.

Handstamps and prizes for all walkers!  Water bottles, coloring books or bike charms.

Want a cool Walk to School lollipop sign for your student?  Look for Brooke or Lexy at drop-off or pick-up over the next few days.  We'll do our best to get there with enough for everyone.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Follow up from last week's Fast Feet Friday

We are picking up steam and the kids are getting the hang of the safety rules.  After the west & southwest routes converged at 77th & Linden, we had ~21 kids and 11 parents, and stopped traffic on Aurora (hooray!).    There were four or five families in the Northeast bus, as well.  All without advertising!

More safety vests are available, and safety flags are coming soon.  We have oodles and oodles of the green lollipop signs - will be distributing these for walk-to-school day.

Volunteers needed!  We need help with Walk-to-School Day on October 5:
* photographers
* people to staff the prize table

And help with Walking School Bus in general:
* Come up with clever names for walking days, like Walking Wednesdays or Fuel-free fast feet fridays
* someone to help update the route maps and this blog/website (or tell Lexy what content to change/add)
* develop a method of tracking walkers- is weekly reporting by leaders enough?  Should we be auditing the whole school?
Design an incentive program, like the necklaces with feet charms you add for lots of walking.  How to track?  What rewards?  Lots of options!
* making stickers using the walking school bus logo
* acquiring hand stamps for walkers
Create a fun one-page scavenger hunt that walkers can use (no prizes, just for fun)?

Friday, September 16, 2011

First Fast Feet Friday report

We had a pretty good turnout for our maiden voyage, considering the lack of advertising during this trial period!  On the southwest route, we ended up with 12-14 kids (which includes a preschooler or two).

Hot pink vests and some bright orange flags were distributed.  I loved the handmade school bus sign!  There was some route and time adjustment - if you have any thoughts, report them to Brooke.  We'll update the route map accordingly.

Safety issues to address:
* we need more vests and flags.
* Keep kids sandwiched between grownups for safety... could be a challenge, but if we repeat it frequently enough, it should rub in.
* Probably at least three parents needed on the southwest group to handle the spreading out issue.    
* Kids must wait for a parent at intersections and alleys, and driveways (especially near Bagley)

Any thoughts?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

First 'Fast Feet Friday' trial run is tomorrow!

This is a chance to test out the routes, and make adjustments for safety and timing as necessary.   Here's a summary of information:

Hooray!  It's our first walking school bus Friday test run!  Does anyone have a catchy name idea?  Fast Feet Fridays?  Fuel-Free Fridays? We'll just pick one at random in the next few weeks unless someone comes up with a good idea.  Poll the kids on your route!

  • Come to see Brooke after you get to school to pick up a safety vest and orange flag, and to report # of children, route changes, and times at major points.  We will update the online maps.  Brooke will have a bright pink bag and a yellow umbrella.
  • We would like to track # kids, route maps, and times for the next few Fridays before official launch.  Even if you don't have time to check in personally, please email us your thoughts and info!
  • We don't really have bus 'stops' since the bus just keeps going, and picks up anyone standing outside along the way
  • Change your route as you see appropriate, ensuring that we pass volunteers' houses and are as safe as possible (this is a trial period for purposes of adjustments).  We might make changes later, depending on interested families' locations.  We can be flexible!
  • Make sure leaders and kids know about safety - cross at crosswalks and lights wherever possible, kids ALWAYS wait for a leader to cross an intersection first
  • We want to make walking to school as easy as possible.  Not asking anyone to change something that is working!  Tell us what you want, and we will advertise that
  • Official advertising for participants won't happen until the 1st week in October.  Official kick-off on Wednesday October 5, and then we'll start with Fridays only (Thursdays on Southeast route), and expand as volunteers would like.

Safety guidelines (we'll summarize the key ones when we have time, but volunteers can scan these for now):
* More on establishing safe routes coming next week when we have a moment to catch our breath...

If anyone wants to volunteer with coordination of Walk to School Day on October 5 (posters, giveaways, printer stickers for participants, talking to staff, getting on MyGreenlake blog, etc.), please don't hesitate to step forward!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Walking School Bus route leaders wanted on Friday mornings!

Seeking Bagley parents to be Walking School Bus leaders, just one morning each week!   

How does a Walking School Bus work?  Students are picked up by volunteer leaders along a set Walking School Bus route - note that the bus doesn't stop, so kids need to be waiting - and delivered safely to the Daniel Bagley playground with lots of time to play before the first bell.  We are planning to start the program with Friday mornings each week (exception: the Southeast route will be Thursdays).  Can you help?

We're looking for at least two parents for each group (front and back of lines), will be ensuring safe routes, and are providing fluorescent safety vests for volunteers. September will be our test period, probably starting September 16 , where we'll be adjusting routes and times.  Come and walk with us to try it out.

Five great reasons to walk to school:
  • Keeps our kids healthy
  • Builds our community
  • Reduces traffic around the school
  • Better for our children’s planet
  • Makes our kids happy
For routes and program information, see the map (link at the sidebar, too), or email Lexy or Brooke.

p.s.  Mark the date:  October 5 is International Walk to School Day, and our OFFICIAL Walking School Bus kick-off!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Routes are 90% finalized! Seeking walk leaders for Friday mornings...

We are looking for walk leaders who live near the start points of the routes we have mapped here, especially near 85th & Ashworth, and along East Greenlake Drive.

Can you help lead the walking school bus on Friday mornings?  Ideally, we will have at least two parent volunteers for each 'bus' route, for safety.  It's just one morning a week!

Email Lexy or Brooke if you are IN!