At a Glance
Encouragement activities are closely related to the school's educational strategies around Safe Routes. They help children and adults practice the walking and biking behaviors they have learned, generate interest, build community and sustain momentum by demonstrating success.
Encouragement activities in their most basic form get kids excited about biking, walking, carpooling, and the use of transit. Some example basic encouragement program structures include:
Event Ideas can include, but are certainly not limited to, Weekly/Monthly Events, Themed Events such as Umbrella Walks in the Winter, Golden Sneaker Contests, Secret Bike Brigades, Walk Across California/America Challenges, and Bike Brigades. Events can be held district wide, school wide, on an individual classroom basis, and even on a student by student basis.
Event Planning Resources
San Mateo Countywide Encouragement Events
Schools that have had success with special events often expand them into regular activities that occur on a regular basis, such as "Wednesday Walk to School" or "Walk and Roll (i.e., Bike) Day."
Walking school buses, bicycle trains, and park and walk activities are all ongoing encouragement activities.
These weekly and monthly events help to institutionalize positive behaviors and multiply the benefits of the activities, enabling walking and biking to become the preferred mode of travel from home to school.
Did you host an event? Please take a moment to share your event participation data.