Bike to School Month
“I had a student last year who wouldn’t even get on a bike and this year he is asking to go for a bike ride every afternoon and wanting to be the leader of the group. A great success story!” – Teacher testimonial
Another fantastic Bike to School Month for 2018!
Whether urban or rural, elementary or secondary, schools across Manitoba worked hard to encourage students—along with teachers and parents—to use cycling as a mode of transportation more often. Coordinators were free to hold the types of programming that best suited their school, whether it was a full month of activities, a week dedicated to active school travel, or a special bike day. Schools who submitted their participation numbers helped us to see how student travel modes are changing in Manitoba, and also are eligible for fun prizes ranging from Winnipeg Jets gear, to treats, to bike accessories (Congrats to Donwood, R.G.H. Bonnycastle, Golden Gate, Angus McKay, and Regent Park on your wins!) A big thank you to Chaeban Ice Cream, Manitoba Museum, and Enigma Escapes for donating prizes.
“Some students whom I normally would never expect to ride a bike to school did, and that’s a success from my perspective!” – Teacher testimonial
- 55 schools participated in Bike to School Month between May 7th and June 6th, representing a total of 17,000+ students across Manitoba!
- We made bike blender smoothies for 400+ students
- 11 schools participated in repair workshops delivered by The WRENCH
- We partnered with Coop Vélo-Cité to offer a French language bike workshop for the first time!
Our Workshop Facilitators
- The WRENCH put on their spectacular repair and maintenance workshops
- MPI provided bike rodeos for grades 1-4 and Cycling Champions for ages 16+
- Coop Vélo-Cité, which gave us the chance to reach francophone schools
- Green Action Centre (we love making you bike blender smoothies!)
“Watching one of our Grade 4 boys run and hug Pat from the WRENCH and thank him for fixing his broken bike will keep me smiling for years to come. That one workshop has changed this boy’s summer!” – Teacher testimonial
Our funders, without whom we would not be able to support schools in this way!
And finally, a big thank you to everyone who participated, particularly the teachers, administrators, and parents who coordinate these events on the ground. Without you, change is impossible. Please continue to work hard at making cycling more accessible to students in your school communities.
Clean Air Day
“My students had a great day. We have been learning about our carbon footprint and they could actually see what we have learned and why it is important to reduce our footprint…It is actually a real thing.” – Teacher from Angus McKay School
On June 6th, Green Action Centre wrapped up Bike to School Month and celebrated National Clean Air Day (as part of National Environment Week) by welcoming over 500 people to Kildonan Park for the third annual Clean Air Day event for schools. Clean Air Day is a special opportunity for students to spend time outdoors, celebrate environmental stewardship, and learn how air quality impacts human and environmental health. We were joined by teachers, staff, and students from Angus McKay School, Margaret Park School, Edmund Partridge School, Governor Semple School, H.C. Avery School, Lord Selkirk School, Arthur E. Wright School, and Hugh John Macdonald School.
Our Active and Safe Routes to School team wowed the crowds with our bike blender, air quality measuring equipment, and Clean Air Day pledge activity. Students learned about the health and environmental benefits of walking, cycling, and rolling to school, as well as how they can compost at home and at school, including the use of worms! Student groups were given passports with the challenge of completing them to be entered into a draw. Each station had an activity or question for the students to answer in order to collect a signature on their passport. As a result of the passport activity, Lord Selkirk School, Governor Semple School, and Edmund Partridge School won a summer fun package, which included a pool float, pack of chalk, Swell water bottle, Clean Air Day rulers, and Dairy Queen gift certificate!
“…By the end of the day students were all telling us that they were having, “the best day!”, and asking if we would be able to come back next year!” – Teacher from Lord Selkirk School
As always, one of the most popular stations at the event was hosted by Health Canada, teaching students about the Air Quality Health Index and health impacts of poor air quality. They had an Air Quality Plinko game, VR display, two touch-screen monitors, and gave away 200 bike bells! Being mindful of our carbon footprint is important when it comes to the quality of air that we breathe because air quality is critical to our health. The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), much like the UV Index helps protect us from the harmful effects of too much sun, is a tool used to alerts us to health risks posed by air pollution. The AQHI is measured on a scale ranging from 1-10+. Values are also grouped into health risk categories as shown below. These categories help you to easily and quickly identify your level of risk.
To learn more about the AQHI, visit the Government of Canada’s website.
Learning opportunities and activities were be hosted by the following:
- Green Action Centre
- Health Canada
- Freedom Concepts (adaptive bike demos)
- The W.R.E.N.C.H. (bike repairs)
- Art City (bike decorating, arts & crafts)
- Bike Winnipeg
- Manitoba Public Insurance
- Winnipeg Transit (tour and bike docking station)
- Winnipeg Police Service
- Winnipeg Public Libraries
- Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (two owls and one falcon!)
- Sport Manitoba (motion zone)
- Recycle Everywhere
- Rack Works (bike racks)
“We learned about being more environmentally friendly by biking!” – Student from Edmund Partridge School
We want to send a huge THANK YOU to everyone who joined us and helped make it a spectacular event! We can’t wait to do it again next year, and we look forward to working with everyone again.