An inspiring initiative is underway in the Peterborough region that offers a great example of how School Travel Planning can be adapted to best suit the needs of the local community.
The project, led by GreenUP, is using support from the OAST Fund to create a scooter and pedestrian-focused education and encouragement program called Roll and Stroll; Families Moving Together. The organization has previously developed School Travel Plans for five schools in the City of Peterborough and Township of Norwood.
“We learned from surveys and discussions that when families engage in active travel to school together, younger kids often find it difficult to keep up. Through this project, we want to facilitate the use of scooters on school routes so tiny legs can keep up to speed,” says Jaime Akiyama, GreenUP’s Program Coordinator. Akiyama also draws parallels between scooter riders and pedestrians, and hopes to do combined promotions of safety measures for walking and scootering to school.
The program blueprint includes a plan to provide scooters and helmets, and also to introduce scooter racks at schools for secure storage. This step is being taken as many schools informed GreenUP that students would often bring the scooters into class, which was not convenient.
GreenUP hopes to create educational materials like pedestrian safety activity workbooks to aid teachers participating in the program. Akiyama also hopes participating families will help in the creation of user-generated photos and videos to amplify the voice of the program.
The Roll and Stroll; Families Moving Together initiative is one of the latest community-based projects to receive support from the Ontario Active School Travel Fund.