Categorized | Education, Featured

School launches Safe Routes To School Program

Finn Simmersbach practices safe riding. (Photo courtesy of Parker School)


In conjunction with PATH’s (People Advocacy for Trails Hawaii) Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program the Parker lower school participated in a week of activities focusing on alternate transportation to and from school.

The SRTS initiative is lead by Heather Polhemus, Jennifer Schack, Viv Varney, Kelly Hoyle, Tania Howard and Marie Fellenstein Hale with the assistance of Laura Dierenfield of PATH.

The SRTS committee was formed to raise awareness and encourage the community to consider all transportation options available to them.

A map of the Big Island is on display at the lower school, and each morning students who walk, ride, bus, or carpool place a color coded sticker on the map with the original goal of circling the entire island by the end of the year.

Varney and Hoyle created the poster and have been surprised at the enthusiastic response from the students. In less than a week, the stickers have already circled the island. Now the goal is to see how many times it will be circled, or to cover the whole island by the end of the school year.

Other activities and events included bike and pedestrian education seminars for students in grades 1-5 during their PE sessions last week that were led by PATH representatives.

The lower school students also participated in a walking school bus, where they met at two ‘park and walk’ spots – Lualai’s entry park and Merrimans parking lot. Nearly one-third of the lower school and one sixth grade sibling participated.

The group plans to continue organizing these park and walk ‘walking school buses’ one or two Fridays a month.

Students and parents from Kamuela View Estates have been inspired and are taking the effort a step further. They have initiated a group gathering to ride the Hele On bus up to school now, with parents assisting kids to cross Kawaihae Road at the park and escorting them to the campus.

Fanny Arnouts watches as PATH's Laura Dierenfield makes some bike adjustments. (Photo courtesy of Parker School)

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