The City of Gilroy, Gilroy Unified School District and the Gilroy Police Department have worked together to implement a pilot education and outreach program at Antonio del Buono Elementary School. It is the intent to translate best practices from this pilot program to all elementary and middle schools in the Gilroy Unified School District.
These Best Practices include:
- In-School Leader – Having a leader within the school helps to encourage parents and students to walk and bike to and from school in a safe manner. This leader also helps identify other champions to build community support around healthy and safe behaviors.
- Ongoing pro-walking and pro-biking activities – We know one event or activity will not change a person’s lifestyle but ongoing events and repeated, healthy activities will change and reinforce positive, healthy behaviors among students and their families.
- Strong Parent Support and Advocacy – Having parental involvement is important as they can serve as local champions for supporting walking and biking safely to and from school. Parents can help with walking school buses, bicycle trains, crossing safely across streets and serving as more ‘eyes’ on the street to help the school. The local Parent teacher Organization (PTO) or Home to School Club can be instrumental in these efforts.
- School wide and District wide policies supporting walking and biking – A policy from the school and the district can serve as a powerful tool for community support to make sure students are healthy and safe when walking or biking to and from school. Some examples of these are staggered arrival and departure times and locations as well as joint use agreements.
For more information on Best Practices, see Getting-More-Students-to-Walk-and-Bicycle-for-Practitioners.pdf