Springer and Blach Junior High schools took top honors in GreenTown Los Altos’ 2014 Drive Less/Greenest Schools Challenge, which ended May 7, National Bike to School Day.
Springer Walk or Wheel (WoW) parent volunteer Kacey Fitzpatrick coordinated parent signups for the Drive Less Challenge. Springer, which had more than double the number of parent registrants as its nearest competitor, won the challenge with 65 percent of students walking or wheeling to school May 7.
Blach won in the Middle School category for the second year in a row, with nearly 70 percent of students arriving at school via foot or bicycle.
According to event organizers, Loyola School continued to make strides with its WoW program, winning “Most Improved Elementary School” with a significant increase from last year and more than 50 percent of students walking or cycling to school.
Loyola WoW parent lead Azar Silver developed a “Driver-Less License” to encourage Loyola students to participate in the two-week challenge. Volunteers stamped students’ licenses each day as they arrived at school and distributed prizes on Bike to School Day.
Los Altos Police Chief Tuck Younis authorized bicycle patrol officers to visit schools during this year’s Drive Less Challenge. The officers, present during the morning commute, provided encouragement for students who walked or biked to school.
GreenTown’s WoW program engages parent volunteers at each of the local elementary and middle schools to urge students to walk, bike or carpool to school.
“In our area, cars are responsible for about 60 percent of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mike McTighe, chairman of GreenTown’s Leadership Team. “Getting kids to walk and bike to school not only helps reduce our negative impact on the environment, but also creates healthy habits for life.”
Los Altos School District, Bullis Charter School and Montclaire Elementary School teachers report how children get to school each May, enabling GreenTown to assess program progress and effectiveness over time. Since the start of the WoW program, green trips to school are up across the district.
For more information, visit greentownlosaltos.org.