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January 27, 2016


Safe Routes to School Friends, 

Prize packages are out and the “cool” kids list has grown to more than 20 schools and sites (wow!) celebrating Winter Walk Day on February 3+. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU  to the people who are organizing these events at their schools. You all are STARS! Not on the list? Register by TOMORROW/THURSDAY and your prize pack should reach you time! Find all the info and the registration link here (and read the fine print for a super-cool staff prize this year).

MORE MPS SUPER STARS: a belated KUDOS to those who worked to get bicycles for MPS students through the Free Bikes 4 Kidz bicycle give away:  Andersen, Bethune, Broadway High School at Longfellow, Indian Education, Lucy Laney, Pillsbury, Seward, Whittier and Wellstone. Thank you Thank YOU THANK YOU! Can’t wait ‘til spring, right? Or perhaps there’s no reason to wait…at least according to the student-leaders of Pillsbury Pedal Power who will lead a group of international guests on a ten mile bicycle tour of the city during the Winter Cycling Congress next week (more info—scroll to session #5). See also below for a free public event celebrating the this gathering.

INPUT wanted: If you help at or observe arrival and/or dismissal at your school, what issues do you see? Please take this two question, anonymous survey. Your help is MUCH appreciated as MPS SRTS looks for ways to help make arrival/dismissal more safe, calm, and inviting: http://goo.gl/forms/ed5I1uNCEN.

Lots of great info and opportunities below. As always let MPS SRTS know what is happening at your school and how we can support your walk/bike dreams.

Free public event | Winter bicycle parade | Winter Cycling Congress | Feb 3 | 4:00 pm

Light up the night with a bicycle ride on the Stone Arch Bridge. Grab your friends, family and bike and join the #WCC16 Bike Parade on Wednesday night. We encourage you to decorate your bike with lights. Plan to arrive at 4:00 p.m. We'll be leaving from the driveway of The Commons Hotel, 615 Washington Avenue Southeast, at 4:30 p.m. for a short 5.3-mile loop along the Mississippi. We'll end our parade just down the street from where we started at the Weisman Art Museum, 333 East River Parkway—around 6 p.m.. At the Weisman, there will be appetizers and exhibits will be open. Current exhibits include "Clouds, Temporarily Visible," "Still...Life" and "Black & White." There will also be a special display of bike-themed art for this night only.


Cool idea | Playground blacktop | Bike friendly makeover

An elementary school in Oceano, California, just got the state’s first permanent bicycle track—inside a schoolyard…The playground markings give kids a safe place to practice riding bikes while learning the rules of the road. The playground’s flexible design can be used for a variety of games, including kickball (white squares), foursquare, circle games, and traffic games. Or to just play. Like any playground markings, the new ones provide outlines that kids can use to make up their own games. The difference is that these ones look like two-lane roads with intersections, stop signs and yield signs…(read more)


Call for workshop proposals | Youth Bike Summit 2016 | Cycles for Change |  due February 12

Have an awesome idea for a workshop about bicycling and social justice? The Youth Bike Summit is now accepting workshop proposal applications for the 2016 summit to be held on May 27-29, 2016 in St. Paul, MN, hosted by Cycles for Change. The YBS is particularly excited about youth-led and interactive workshops. Deadline to submit workshop proposals is Feb. 12, 2016. Please share this with anyone you think is interested in presenting! Looking forward to hearing all your great ideas for the next Youth Bike Summit! Questions? Contact Stephanie Schultz, stephanie@cyclesforchange.org.


Call for Applications | 2016 Safe Routes to School Awards | School/district: James L. Oberstar Award, due Feb 18| Champion/person: Deb Hubsmith Award, due Feb 10

The National Center for Safe Routes to School now welcomes applications for the James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award. This award recognizes outstanding achievement by a local Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program that has improved the safety or increased the number of elementary and/or middle school students who safely walk and bicycle to school. Particular consideration will be given to applicants who have made active transportation to/from school an integral part of school culture over time, especially in places with great need. Read more

In remembrance of her work and life, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership has created the Hubsmith Safe Routes Champion Award, to be presented to a nominated individual who exemplifies Deb’s leadership, commitment and positive impact on Safe Routes to School advocacy and advancement in their community.  Nominees may be from local, regional, state or national levels, and may represent any sector that works in Safe Routes to School – education, transportation, health, advocacy, equity, community or business.  Read more


Winter resources | Snow shoveling rules  | Letters to drivers  | Safety tips | School closings

·         Let’s all remember to shovel our sidewalks and help those who can’t, so the MPS walking buses can continue their on-time records! Minneapolis Snow Shoveling Rules: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/snow/shovel/index.htm

·         If arrival and dismissal gets especially hairy at your school in the winter, now may be a good time to remind those who drive students your school’s procedures (resource: letters to drivers).

·         Winter Fun and Safety: http://emss.mpls.k12.mn.us/winter_fun_safety.html

·         Weather-Related School Closing Information: http://www.mpls.k12.mn.us/school_closing


Schoolyard Gardens Conference |  Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, MacMillan Auditorium  | Friday, March 4 | 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

2016 Schoolyard Gardens Conference: An Ecosystem of Learning, Sharing Common Ground
SCHOOLYARD GARDENS provide an incomparable, hands-on opportunity for students to meet academic standards, engage with community partners, learn about agriculture, healthy eating, cultural competency and connect with natural systems. Whether you are a beginner or schoolyard garden veteran, join us in March to learn innovative strategies, sustaining and engaging diverse learners in a thriving schoolyard garden. Learn more


$500 Schoolyard Gardens Grants |  Jeffers Foundation  | Due March 10 

Check out these grant opportunities currently available, including Jeffers Foundation offering $500 grants for the 2016-2017 school year.  To access applications and funding opportunities visit here.


In the news

What is the secret to success later in life? (see: Kindness)

What do MPS PE teachers do when they are not biking with students? (see: Dancing)

What is good for kids’ brains? (see: Monkey bars)


MPS Safe Routes to School Email List

MPS Safe Routes to School (MPS SRTS) is part of Safe & Healthy Students and is located in Operational & Security Services (OSS). It is funded through grants from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Safe Routes to School and the Statewide Health Improvement Program. MPS SRTS sends occasional emails like this one to walk/bike friends, enthusiasts, and champions across Minneapolis Public Schools with bike/walk/wellness information, opportunities, and events. Please email Jennifer.bordon@mpls.k12.mn.us to be added to or removed from this list. Please share as you see fit.