The Maine Walking School Bus (WSB) Program worked with nine different elementary schools over five years to help them start and run daily WSBs. We learned a few things along the way – check out the Lessons Learned here!
Hundreds of Maine school children will walk or bike to school with family members, school staff and volunteers in celebration of National Walk to School Day on October 10th. Organized events are planned at schools across the state throughout October, which is National Walk to School Month.
The Maine Safe Route to School Program can support your event(s) with event announcement posters, walking school bus posters, and incentive stickers. To request these, please register your event here.
Here are the Maine schools that have planned Walk & Bike to School activities this fall:
- Auburn, Walton School
- Bangor, Downeast School
- Bangor, Vine Street School
- Brunswick, Coffin School
- Brunswick, Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School
- Camden-Rockport Middle School
- Eagle Lake Elementary / Jr High School
- Fort Kent Elementary School
- Fort Kent, Valley Rivers Middle School
- Fort Kent Community High School
- Howland, Hichborn Middle School
- Kingfield Elementary School
- Lewiston, Geiger Elementary
- North Anson, Carrabec Community School
- Norway, Guy E. Rowe Elementary School
- Portland, East End Community School
- Portland, Harrison Lyseth Elementary School
- Portland, Lincoln Middle School
- Portland, Lyseth Elementary School
- Saint Francis Elementary School
- South Portland, Memorial Middle School
- Wallagrass Elementary School
- Waterville, Albert S. Hall School
- York, Village Elementary School
We hope to see you walking or biking to school this season!
Hundreds of Maine school children will bike or walk to school with family members, school staff and volunteers in celebration of National Bike to School Day on May 9th. Organized events were planned at schools across the state throughout May, which is always National Bike Month. Check out our blog for photos and highlights from past years: Walk & bike inspiration from across the state!
The Maine Safe Route to School Program can support your event(s) with event announcement posters, walking school bus posters, and incentive stickers. Request promo materials for your event here.
Participants kicked off last year’s ride in record breaking numbers! Thousands of students pedaled their way to school during the 2017 Bike to School Day celebration! Over 3,000 schools across the country, from Maine to Hawaii participated. Register your school in the national database to join the thousands and remember to share your event plans and photos with #BiketoSchoolDay!
Here are the Maine schools that have submitted 2018 Walk & Bike to School activities:
- Auburn, Walton School – Bike To School Day
- Baileyville, Woodland ES – Walk & bike events during the week of May 14
- Bangor, Abraham Lincoln School – Daily Walking School Bus
- Bangor, Downeast School – Daily Walking School Bus
- Bangor, Vine Street School – Daily Walking School Bus
- Camden, Camden Rockport MS – Bike or Walk To School Day
- Cape Elizabeth, Pond Cove School – Bike or Walk To School Day
- Kittery, Shapleigh School – Bike To School Day
- Gray, Fiddlehead School of Arts & Science – Bike or Walk To School Day
- Gray, Gray-New Gloucester HS – Bike or Walk To School Day
- Gray, Gray-New Gloucester MS – Bike or Walk To School Day
- Gray, Russell School – Bike or Walk To School Day
- Lewiston, Farwell School – Daily Walking School Bus
- Lewiston, Geiger Elementary – Bike or Walk To School Day
- Lincoln, Ella P. Burr – Walk and bike to school every Wednesday April-June
- Portland, East End Community School – Daily Walking School Bus
- Portland, Lincoln MS – Bike or Walk To School Day
- Scarborough, Pleasant Hill School – Bike To School Day
- Kittery, Shapleigh School – Bike or Walk To School Day
- South Portland, Memorial MS – Bike or Walk To School Day
- Topsham, Woodside ED – Walk to school every Thursday starting April 26
- Waterville, Albert S Hall School – The Spring BIG walk to school on May 11
- York, Coastal Ridge ES – Walk to school every Wednesday starting April 25
- York, Village ES – Walk to school every Wednesday starting April 25
- York Middle School – Walk to school every Wednesday starting April 25
Would you like to enhance student walking & biking safety? Please contact us about setting up a Safe Walker and Safe Bicycle Driver educational activity at your school. We can send an available safety instructor or train you to be the safety expert! Submit your request here: bikemaine.org/bpse-request
We hope to see you walking or biking to school this season!
The Maine Walking School Bus (WSB) Program – a partnership of the Maine Center for Disease Control, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine Department of Transportation – is excited to announce that Vine Street (Bangor), Abraham Lincoln (Bangor), and Farwell (Lewiston) elementary schools have been selected to receive grants for the 2017/18 school years! Congratulations!!
The WSB Program provides local schools with the opportunity to start or build on their own daily walking school bus programs, with technical and financial assistance from the statewide program. The funding supports a WSB Coordinator within the school, safety equipment, marketing materials and ongoing guidance from program staff.
Vine Street, Abraham Lincoln, and Farwell will join five other schools across the state of Maine that are already running WSB Programs: Portland’s East End Community School, Norway’s Guy E. Rowe School, Ellsworth’s Elementary-Middle School, Waterville’s Albert S. Hall School, and Bangor’s Downeast School.
To learn more please visit the Maine Walking School Bus website.
Parents: Help your children dress properly, stay healthy, and travel safely during Maine’s winter months. Staying warm and dry will help your student focus and perform better in the classroom!
Dress for the Cold
- Add an extra layer: Teach your kids how to put together outfits with multiple layers, so they can remove one or two after they get to school. Make sure clothing is comfortable and easy to put on and remove. Be sure your child has a good place to store discarded layers during the school day so they can be put back on when it’s time to go home.
- Protect exposed skin: When winter wind and colder temperatures arrive, make sure kids are fully equipped with a winter hat, gloves, and a scarf to keep extremities warm. Make sure your children have appropriate shoes/boots to keep feet dry and warm.
- Get some traction – Sidewalks may be ice or snow-covered. Make sure children’s shoes or boots have ample traction to grip slippery sidewalks.
- Pack a backup – Consider packing an extra pair of socks or even a full change of clothes in your child’s backpack, in case he or she gets wet on the way to or during the school day. Proper snow pants and jackets can also help keep your child comfortable.
- The ultimate accessory: the water bottle – We don’t often associate cold-weather with dehydration, however our bodies don’t get as hot and sweat evaporates more rapidly in the cold dry air. Thus, we’re tricked into thinking we aren’t losing fluids as rapidly as a hot summer day. To avoid dehydration, make sure children are drinking plenty of water before, during, and after school – don’t forget to hydrate!
Walk and Ride with Extra Care
We encourage you to share these tips for students, staff, and families walking and bicycling to and from school – important in general, but especially during the winter!
Walkers and bicyclists should wear reflective clothing and bright colors, and use lights at night. Don’t dress like the side of the road: white clothing and snow are a dangerous combo!
- Walkers should always walk facing traffic when a sidewalk is not present.
- Walkers should make eye contact with motorists and make sure all traffic has stopped before crossing the road.
- Bicyclists must use a headlight and rear reflector or taillight at night, by law.
- Bicyclists must also follow all traffic laws: obeying stops, giving turn signals, riding with traffic (NOT against traffic), stopping for stopped school buses, etc.
Reminders to Motorists
For those of us who are also motorists, take special care with walkers and bicyclists during the winter months:
- Look out for pedestrians at all times. Be especially aware of those who may be forced to walk in the street because of snow banks.
- Yield to pedestrians entering any marked crosswalk. By law, motorists must give at least 3 feet when passing a bicyclist or pedestrian. Do not try to pass when there isn’t enough room.
- Be aware that bicyclists will sometimes need to take more of the driving lane because of snow banks and winter road debris.
- Refrain from distracted driving. Texting, talking on the phone and eating are all forms of distracted driving.
- Above all: pay attention and slow down in villages, neighborhoods, and school areas.
The Maine Safe Routes to School Program compiles a monthly newsletter to keep you in the know about local success stories, exciting program updates, and funding opportunities.
Check out our past newsletters for inspiration, then SIGN UP for our SRTS monthly newsletter to stay in-the-know about the Maine SRTS Program.