Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda will bike to school with Bryant Elementary students in celebration of National Bike to School Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda will bike to school with Bryant Elementary students in celebration of National Bike to School Day

An estimated 3,500 kids across Seattle region will bike to school on Wednesday, May 8

 What: Bryant Elementary school students, family members and public officials to bicycle en masse to school and hold a press conference about biking to school

Who: Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda, Seattle School Board President Kay Smith-Blum, Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Cascade Bicycle Club Education Director Julie Salathé, Bryant bike to school organizers and families

When: Riders gather at Top Pot beginning at 8 a.m. Ride departs at 8:40.

Ride start point: Ride starts from Top Pot Doughnuts at 6845 35th Ave NE, Seattle, WA.

Ride ending point and location of press conference: Bryant Elementary School, 3311 NE 60th St, Seattle, WA

 

A stream of Bryant students and parents riding on Bike to School Day 2012. Photo (c) carfreedays on Flickr. Click photo to view more photos from last year.

SEATTLE, MAY 3, 1013 – Following the “May is Bike to School Month” recognition at the Seattle Public School Board meeting on May 1, we are happy to announce that Superintendent José Banda will join students and families of Bryant Elementary School, School Board President Kay Smith-Blum, Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Cascade Bicycle Club Education Director Julie Salathé and community members on a group bicycle ride to celebrate National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 8, 2013.

The group will gather at Top Pot Doughnuts beginning at 8 a.m. and depart for the 1-mile ride to school at 8:40.

Bryant Principal Kim Fox will welcome students and families in a Bike to School Day rally and press conference to be held on the school’s playground.

“Biking to school addresses two issues that the school district faces: students’ well-being as it relates to academic achievement and transportation costs,” said Superintendent Banda. “Studies show that students who get regular exercise are more attentive in class and reach higher achievement levels. More students biking to school means lower transportation costs, which translates into more funds for our classrooms. Ultimately, supporting bicycling will help us find happier, healthier, more focused students at their desks.”

The Seattle School District has partnered with Cascade Bicycle Club to offer its Basics of Bicycling curriculum in elementary schools for the past 15 years. The program teaches bike safety to 7,300 SPS students annually.

Last year at the Bike to Work Day rally at Seattle City Hall, school board president Kay Smith-Blum made a commitment to support biking to school.

“I’m pleased to report that we’re making progress,” said Kay Smith-Blum, school board president. “The district has partnered with Cascade Bicycle Club in grant-funded programs to encourage biking to school at four elementary schools this spring. And maybe most importantly, grassroots programs are sprouting across the District. Over 25 schools have active Safe Routes to School programs with parents and other partners promoting biking and walking to school.”

“That’s a start,” Smith-Blum said. “There’s much more we look forward to accomplishing in the near future through our pending Green Building Initiative, by taking walking and biking access into account when designing school grounds.”

“The Bryant Elementary School staff has been supportive of our bike to school efforts, but it also takes committed, active parents leading the charge,” said Clint Loper, parent of students at Bryant and Eckstein Middle School and a co-founder of Walk.Bike.Schools, which was formed last year to foster collaboration among walk and bike to school organizers throughout Seattle.

Full racks at Bryant Elementary on Bike to School Day 2012. Photo (c) carfreedays on Flickr. Click photo to view more photos from last year.

“The grassroots growth in bike to school programs over these past several years has been phenomenal,” Loper said. “It is beneficial for our kids in so many ways, and they are voting with their bikes and sneakers that kid-powered commuting is their favorite way to get to school. I encourage parents at schools throughout the city to work together so we can make every corner of Seattle safe and inviting for kids to bike to school.”

“Bike to School Day is a shared vision for our community – a vision where people of every age and ability feel safe and comfortable to bicycle in their neighborhoods,” said Julie Salathé, Cascade Bicycle Club Education Director.

“Next Wednesday’s event is an important signal from the district that they are committed to that vision, too,” Salathé continued. “We can already see great progress being made at individual schools and by groups like Walk.Bike.Schools. Now we are looking to our leaders to adopt policies and fund infrastructure that will make it safer and easier for kids to walk and bike to school.”

“I love seeing our bike racks full of kids’ bikes,” said Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. “It means Seattle families are making the leap and working together to make biking to school not just a hope, but a reality for more kids. However, neighborhoods are still lacking in routes that are safe enough for everyone. We need to change that. I’m committed to establishing safer school zones and neighborhood streets that work for all our residents and give them safe choices in the way they travel to schools and other local destinations.”

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Media contact:

M.J. Kelly, Cascade Bicycle Club
(206) 853-2188 m.j.kelly@cascadebicycleclub.org

Teresa Wippel, Seattle Public Schools
(206) 252-0203

About Cascade Bicycle Club

Founded in 1970, Cascade Bicycle Club is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization based in Seattle, Washington, serving 15,000+ members and more than half a million cyclists in the Puget Sound community. Cascade is operated by a 13-member volunteer Board of Directors, 34 professional staff and thousands of volunteers. More information about Cascade Bicycle Club’s advocacy, commute, education and riding programs is available online at http://www.cascade.org/ or by calling (206) 522-3222.
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