April 2016

Bike to School Week Champion - Tu Loan Trieu

If a little friendly competition helps you to get motivated then this week's post will probably do the trick. Tu Loan Trieu, Librarian and Classroom Teacher at Hillcrest Middle School in Coquitlam, has led her school to BTSW Championships for two consecutive years. She's looking for a third title, but she's not the type to let you know about it. Keep reading her story here.

Tu Loan Trieu leads an active lifestyle and attempts to cycle to work at least a couple of days a week (it is an hour commute one way!). Last year she was the athletic coordinator at Hillcrest Middle School and organized Bike to School Week for the second time. She believes that cycling education leads to lifelong skills and instills good, healthy practices in youth.

Last year Hillcrest Middle School was awarded a brand new bike for having achieved the highest ridership for all middle schools in the province. Tu Loan “framed” Bike to School Week last year as training for the school’s Kettle Valley cycling trip that took place at the end of the same week. The trip, combined with Bike to School Week, meant that, in Tu Loan's words “bike culture at the school really blossomed in 2015”.

The school recently completed HASTe’s School Travel Planning program, and in the spring of last year HUB and Cycling BC provided bike education workshops for students. Leading up to Bike to School Week, newsletters were sent home and announcements were made on a daily basis. On the Wednesday of Bike to School Week, Tu Loan took a group of students to the nearby Bike to Work Week celebration station, which was a highlight for students because there were snacks and prizes available in addition to those handed out at school. Lots to celebrate!

In order to achieve success for Bike to School Week, Tu Loan says that coordinators should be passionate and enthusiastic about cycling. She believes that school staff and administration should be riding too in order to get uptake from the kids, and, of course, having prizes available for students is a great way to increase participation.

Stay tuned for more profiles over the coming weeks and follow the links to register for this year's event!

Registration for Metro Vancouver schools.

Registration for schools outside of Metro Vancouver.

Ernette Hutchings-Mason

Bike to School Week Champion - Liz Cramb

To gear up for Bike to School Week this year (May 30 - June 3) we'll be profiling a number of "Bike Champions" who we think have taken bike advocacy for kids to the next level. Our first profiled Champion is a teacher at Buckingham Elementary in Burnaby, Liz Cramb. Click here to read more about her.

Liz Cramb is a Grade 5/6 Teacher at Buckingham Elementary in Burnaby. She knows the benefits of cycling, and tries to instill a sense of understanding of the importance of active transportation in her students as well. All too often she sees students being driven and dropped off, leading to parking and congestion issues including decreased safety for all. Organizing Bike to School Week is Liz’s tool for getting kids out of cars and onto their bikes.

Liz coordinated Bike to School Week for the first time last year and approached it as a leadership opportunity for her students. This came from the social studies curriculum in which senior elementary students are meant to implement a plan of action to address a community issue, which in this case is both health of individuals and safety. Her students made posters and gave presentations in other classes to promote Bike to School Week. Greeters from her class welcomed students who biked to school each day by helping lock them up and place a sticker on the Bike to School Week poster to show that they had biked to school. Liz says that the student leadership style of running Bike to School Week is important because “the older kids need to feel needed, wanted, and able to contribute”.

This year Liz hopes to have a temporary bike rack installed at the school so there will be more parking spaces for bikes. She also hopes to have more prizes donated from local businesses and maybe have bike tune-ups the week before Bike to School Week so everyone’s bike is ready to go. Liz’s advice to other schools? Get the students involved in organizing and running Bike to School Week so they feel needed and wanted, and take ownership of the event.

Stay tuned for more profiles over the coming weeks and follow the links to register for Bike to School Week 2016.

Registration for Metro Vancouver schools.

Registration for schools outside of Metro Vancouver.

Ernette Hutchings-Mason


The Myth of the Urban Revival?

The ascendance of cities has become something of an axiom recently: we're told that everyone is moving to the city -- it's the place to live. But a recent article by Jed Kolko based on American census data suggests otherwise: not only are suburbs still growing faster than cities, but the kinds of demographic growth that cities are seeing is a bit unbalanced.

Jed crunched the numbers and found that cities are indeed growing: they're growing whiter, richer and older. Not quite the bold new urban future we were promised. Read his fascinating article here.

  EEAP   Passion For Action Green Communities Canada


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