Sand Point Elementary: Building a friendship

Today I will be meeting with Dan Warren, principal of Sand Point Elementary. It will be the first connection the Cascade Bicycle Club’s Education Foundation has made with any staff from the school here in North Seattle. The meeting will be focused on grant proposals and, if you could call it such, “business.” But for me as, a rookie intern, it goes beyond that.

I’m pretty new to this organization (and by “new” I mean “I’ve been here for two weeks”) but without a doubt, in every aspect of my experience here, the mission statement of the club has been resoundingly strong. All of the staff, both paid and voluntary, take this very seriously: “Creating a better community through cycling.” I have noticed it in how welcome the staff has made me and other new Americorps feel. I have noticed it in how the Basics of Bicycling program reaches from North Seattle to Lake Washington to South Park. Now I get to see the statement come to life in our very own backyard.

Over the past two weeks I’ve come to see how much Cascade has grown in just the last few years. As the Club has grown so has its mantra: keep everybody involved, be inclusive. It has expanded its programs to include many areas of the Seattle Metro region but it’s important to remember that our community is right out our back door, too. Across the grasses of Magnuson Park and through the intersection of Sand Point Way and 65th is a small elementary school that we have yet to forge a relationship with. Today is the first step towards not just a new demographic and a new body of students and parents but also the first step towards a new friendship.