Promoting your Safe Routes program
Once your Safe Routes to School program is in place, it’s time to make sure your students are participating. For promotional materials, see the Marketing Toolkit section. Here are some ways you can help promote your program and make sure it’s having the impact it should.
- Get your classroom in the game
- Start an incentive plan that tracks how often your kids walk or bike to school and rewards them after a certain number.
- Teach your kids the benefits of walking and biking as well as safe walking and biking practices. Use our classroom activities to get you started.
- Make it fun! Each week, let your students tell a story about something they found or experienced on their trip to school. It’ll help spread the idea that walking/biking to school every day is an adventure.
- Encourage schoolwide participation
- Have a schoolwide kickoff event, including an all-school assembly to get kids, faculty, and staff pumped up. The kickoff event could also include a sanctioned Walk/Bike to School Day where everyone walks or bikes.
- Put up posters around the school to remind everyone about the importance of walking and biking to school and how to do it safely.
- Fill other teachers in on your curriculum and encourage them to teach their students about walking/biking to and from school each day.
- Involve the parents
- Send home “backpack mail” about the program.
- At parent/teacher conferences, encourage parents to talk to their kids about walking and biking to school to increase their activity levels.
- Work with parents to create walking school bus routes in the neighborhood surrounding your school.
- Conduct an open-house kickoff, where parents can come to school to learn about the program, why activity is so important for their kids’ health, and safe walking/biking practices.
- Take it to the community
- Post signs around the school so drivers will know to expect children crossing.
- Have the local media cover your school’s kickoff event. Interviews with teachers, kids, and parents can reinforce the importance of activity to the community and keep community members on the lookout for kids walking/biking to school.