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Education Fund News

International Walk to School Day is October 7

Wednesday, September 16 2015 11:39

biketexas walk to school day texas bicycle educationSchool has started, students and teachers are getting to know one another, and your family is into the schoolday routine. Now's a great time to start planning your trip to school for International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 7.

A great first step is to check out the Texas page and see if your school has registered for an event yet. If not, take action! Contact your school and ask them to organize a Walk to School Day event. We have plenty of resources to help you out on our Educational Resources page, including the Safe Routes to School Event Handbook. Print out the Team Leader Checklist (PDF download) and take it with you so your school has a step-by-step list of things to do to get ready for lots of walking.

Now's the time to order your educational materials to hand out at Walk to School Day! Definitely check out Let's Walk to School and the Be Safe Be Bright Lights. Order by September 29 in Texas or September 23 elsewhere in the U.S. for your materials to arrive before Walk to School Day. Questions? Call us: 512-476-7433.

Get your neighborhood organized! Talk to other parents to set up a Walking School Bus for your children to walk together. Remember: walking to school gives your child (and you!) tremendous health and mental benefits. Childhood obesity is on the rise across the US, and regular physical activity can help protect your child: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 60 minutes of physical activity every day for children and adolescents. In addition to health benefits, studies have shown a link between children being active on their way to school and their ability to concentrate once they arrive.

brain slide

Walking to school just not the right fit for your family? You can still get in on the action! Consider an excellent suggestion shared on Streetsblog LA: if you can't walk the whole way, park five blocks from the school and walk the rest of the way in. Not only will you and your children still get the benefits of walking, but you'll also get those extra few mintues together without having to fight the crush of traffic in the drop-off line.

Don't delay! Make Walk to School Day 2015 a great day for students in Texas.

 

Ready to Roll: Back to School 2015

Tuesday, August 18 2015 00:00

Stacks of notebooks, backpacks on display, and pencils waiting to be sharpened can only mean one thing: It's time to head back to school! Whether you're 5 or 25, if you're headed back to the land of learning, it's time to be sure your bike is ready to roll with you. 

Biking or walking to school gives your child (or you!) tremendous health and mental benefits. Childhood obesity is on the rise across the US, and regular physical activity can help protect your child: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 60 minutes of physical activity every day for children and adolescents.

In addition to getting kids active, studies have shown a link between children being active on their way to school and their ability to concentrate once they arrive. Doss Elementary School in Austin has noticed this firsthand: after just a few months of the school's bike program, teacher Amanda Swann said, "children who walk/ride to school are much better prepared to sit and learn and have gotten those ‘wiggles’ out on that trip to school instead of during school."

 

walk to school biketexas bicycle education

So, time to get everybody ready to roll!

1. Learn how to do the ABC Quick Check before every ride.

2. Make sure everyone in your family has a properly fitted helmet. (PDF download)

3. Get a refresher on the rules of the road with the Texas Bicycle Laws Activity Cards. (PDF download)

4. When's the last time you changed a flat tire? Find step-by-step instructions here. (PDF download)

5. Find more fun ways to learn about biking and walking on the BikeTexas Educational Resources page here.

6. Does your bike need a tuneup? Click here to check out the BikeTexas bike shop members in your area.

 

Want to plan a Bike/Walk to School Day for your school or community?

International Walk to School Day is October 7! Go to the Texas page on the Walk to School Day site to find an event near you or to register your event. Planning a bike or walk to school day event? Check out the Bike/Walk to School Day chapter in the BikeTexas Event Handbook for tips to make everything run smoothly. Start with the Team Leader Checklist (PDF download) to get you well on your way.

 

Biking/Walking not a feasible option for your family?

Never fear: You are not forgotten! StreetsBlog LA shared excellent advice from Jim Shanman, the executive director of Walk n Rollers: "Instead of driving all the way to school, try parking 5 blocks away and walking the rest. Spending an extra 10 minutes with your kids and avoiding the drop off crush is an excellent – and rewarding – way to start your day." Read more of Jim's suggestions here.

You might also consider joining-- or starting-- a walking school bus or a bike train in your neighborhood. Parents take turns being the leaders, reducing each person's overall time commitment-- a valuable commodity for busy parents. Learn more: info about walking school buses here and info about bike trains here.

 

Above all, have a great school year, and happy riding!

   

Shop on Prime Day, Support Bicycle Education

Wednesday, July 08 2015 15:43

biketexas amazon smileOn July 15, Amazon is throwing themselves a little party called Prime Day. If you're gearing up to shop for Back to School or just because it sounds like a good day to get some stuff you've had your eye on, don't forget it's also a good time to support bicycle education in Texas. 

Log on to your Amazon shopping spree using smile.amazon.com, make sure BikeTexas (Texas Bicycle Coalition Education Fund) is listed as your beneficiary, and every time you shop, Amazon will send a portion of their profits to bicycle education. Easy peasy, right? 

Amazon Smile also works great on non-Prime Day, but July 15 is a good time to save yourself some cash and support BikeTexas' educational efforts at the same time. Thank you for making Texas a great place to ride a bike!

   

We'd Like to Thank the Academy

telly award trophy-001Well, sort of. We'd like to thank a whole bunch of people, starting with the folks at the 34th Annual Telly Awards, who gave BikeTexas and TxDOT a 2013 Bronze Telly for our Safety Bling! video. (We wanted to share this news sooner, but it turns out it takes a while for a shiny trophy to arrive!)

Safety Bling! was filmed as part of CATS in 2012 at Texas A&M campus in College Station and Pfluger Bridge in Austin.

In the spirit of any proper awards show with really heavy trophies being given away (seriously, it's heavy!), we have a long list of thanks. Well done and thank you to all the folks who made Safety Bling! happen:

The Rhymanese Twins -- Jon Steinmeier & Noah Tabakin.

TxDOT Travel Division video team -- Benard Stafford, John Clawson, Michael Amador, Chris Lewis, Debbie Snyder.

Crew -- Donna Hoffman, Juliana Furioso, Purly Gates, Ron Beal, Alan Koda, Ed Fuentes, BikeTexas staff.

telly award certificate

Actors -- Lee Arnold, Daniella Baird, Patrick Beyer, Jason Butler, Fidel Campbell, Shannon Crane, Andre Denais, Jennifer Denais, Jessica Duffy, Karen Gause, Landon Gillett, Bethany Hamilton, Derek Hansen, Laura Higgins, Sandy Hines, David Hudson, Heather Kouros, Paul Kim, Anna Kong, Maeve Kent, Pamela Larson, Rachel Laye, Tyler Mainz, Edward Matthews, Brandon McKinney, Marah Nomack, Andre Pelaez, P. Monroe Patterson, Tim Pipe, Hilda Ramos, John Randall, Mark Rausch, Jesse S., Cameron Schultz,Tyler Shaffer, Imani Shanklin, Gilbert Slade, Mark Sullivan, Sarah Swinney, Maegen Valdez, Daryl Wade, Jermaine Walker, David Westenbarger, James Woodring, Christine Yager

   

Bike Rodeos in Brownsville Create a Community

brownsville bike rodeo november 22 biketexasOn Saturday, November 22, families in Brownsville gathered at Cabler Park for a chance for their children to learn more about bicycle safety.

Most of the 25 children who attended do not own a bike or a helmet, so the park provided those for practicing new bike skills like signaling turns, coming to a complete stop at stop signs, and passing pedestrians with care. A few of the parents present also took the opportunity to take a spin on a bike, some for the first time in years.

Local advocate Edgar Gaucin, who organized the event along with BikeTexas' Fernando Martinez, says, "We are convinced that bicycles do much more for our community than simply providing transportation or recreation. Our goal is to work with groups with all kinds of interests and use the bicycle as a tool to work on various projects."

Kids and parents left the bike rodeo looking forward to the next CycloBia in Brownsville (coming up on December 14) and also eager for more events like this in their community.

Photo courtesy of Edgar Gaucin. See more photos from the bike rodeo on the BikeTexas Facebook page.

   

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