safe routes logoSafe Routes to Schools

E-Newsletter       March 2016
 

In This Issue
Teens Shine at Youth Conference
Distracted Driving - It's not just for kids
Crosswalk Improvements coming to Novato
Yellow School Buses will Roll in Mill Valley
Marin Food Bank Partners with SR2S
Pedestrian Flags in Fairfax
Team Leaders Get Ready for Spring
Free Bike Racks     
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At Lawrence Hall of Science
March Blog
 
Marin's Middle School Students Shine at Youth Conference
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Marin's Youth Shine at Leadership Conference
It was a fabulous day at the sold out Youth for the Environment and Sustainability (YES) Conference at the Lawrence Hall of Science on January 30th. Over 300 Bay Area middle and high school students gave up their Saturday to learn more about what teens are doing to mitigate climate change.

Middle schools in Marin County are reaching or exceeding 50% of the school population using active transportation - walking and rolling to school. Anna Silverman from Kent, Santy Hernandez Maldonado, student at Miller Creek, and Mill Valley Middle school students Theo Koffman and Kara Kneafsey were selected to share their experience to empower action and to show what a "tipping point" looks like at schools where green transportation is the norm through sustained Safe Routes to Schools programs and events.  read more

Distracted Driving - It's not just for kids

Guest Blog is by Allison Geller
"I use the phone in the car but I am hands-free"
It seems sensible - if your hands are on the wheel and your eyes are on the road it should be safe to talk on the phone. But drivers on a cell phone - regardless of whether it is hand-held or hands-free - can fail to see over 50 percent of their surroundings and are at least four times more likely to crash.  Read more

Novato to See Crosswalk Improvements

A TAM grant and local funds are helping pave the way for improved crosswalks on Novato roads.
 
At the cost of $185,000, crossing points at Ignacio and South Novato boulevards will be improved in upcoming months with enhancements that include pedestrian-activated flashing beacons, pedestrian refuge islands, and yield lines.  read more in the Marin IJ

Yellow Buses to Roll in Mill Valley 
Next Year                        
Yellow school buses will be rolling on the streets of Mill Valley in the 2016-2017 school year thanks to an exciting collaboration among the County of Marin, City of Mill Valley, and the Mill Valley School District. Marin Transit, coordinator of successful school transportation programs in Ross Valley and Strawberry/Tiburon Peninsula, was also key to this initiative.

The Marin County Board of Supervisors voted on March 1 to provide $55,000 in funding. The City of Mill Valley has already voted to spend $50,000 on the program. The Mill Valley School District will provide a staff person to run the logistics.  read more in the Marin IJ

Marin Food Bank Joins Forces with SR2S

Last December, Safe Routes to Schools started its brand-new partnership with the Marin Food Bank, which will supply underserved schools with fresh fruit and/or healthy snacks for our signature event, Walk and Roll Wednesdays. The two organizations will work together in two schools, Bahia Vista Elementary in San Rafael and Lynwood Elementary in Novato, with a possibility that the partnership be extended to other schools in the County.
 
So far, the Food Bank through its coordinator, Alex Danino, has given out fruit at Bahia Vista in December and January and Lynwood in January and March.
 
"When selecting the schools, the Food Bank's criteria are the same that we use for SR2S's bilingual program. We both want to help schools with a majority of minority students, with more than 50 percent subscribing to the free or reduced lunch program," says Monica Leifer, Safe Routes to Schools' Bilingual Coordinator. "The Food Bank's contribution to our Walk and Roll Wednesdays provides this event with new incentives for morning exercise, while sending a message about the importance of having a healthy breakfast," adds Leifer.

Fairfax Middle School Student Promotes Pedestrian Safety                          
Emma Lauter, a 13-year-old eighth grader at White Hill Middle School, was tired of seeing pedestrian near-misses in Fairfax crosswalks and decided to do something about it. Working through Sustainable Fairfax, she lobbied the town council to introduce hand-held flags at key intersections. Those crossing the street can take the flags and improve their visibility as they cross the street, then deposit the flags in holders on the other side. The idea has been used in Berkeley, and Emma brought it to Fairfax. Read more

Team Leaders Get Ready for Spring                             
On February 10th, Safe Routes to Schools hosted its Spring Volunteer Luncheon at the San Rafael Community Center with the participation of 22 private and public schools from all over Marin County.
 
The team leaders in attendance were eager to participate in the SR2S' new contest, the Green Sneaker Challenge, which is to be held for four consecutive Wednesdays this spring. A few participants that conducted a pilot of the challenge last fall enthusiastically shared their success stories.
 
The group was also interested in May's National Bike to School Day, which is the second most important event of the year for Safe Routes following International Walk to School in the fall.
 
At the end of the meeting, Gwen Froh, SR2S's new Program Director, delivered the schools' report cards to each team leader. These newly enhanced report cards show the distribution of the school's trips and also list the educational and promotional activities the school is involved with.
 
Team leaders who could not make it to the luncheon should contact Laura Kelly, SR2S Outreach Manager, at (415) 231-5729 to receive their supplies for both the Green Sneaker Challenge and National Bike to School Day.