Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Watching the Weather

Needless to say, it hasn't been the greatest weather for Bike-to-Work Week so far. My ride in yesterday was semi-dry, but I got soaked on the way home today. Wednesday looks to be the worst of the week, which is fine by me. Friday is what counts, and so far I say we are going to be okay. The forecast calls for some light showers, but NOT during the morning or afternoon commute hours. We can handle that.

For those of you just joining us, here is the plan:
This Friday, May 20, we are planning to get as many students together and ride our bikes to school. The plan is to meet up at the Trunk River Bridge (on the bike path to Woods Hole) at 7:30am and ride the bike path to downtown. From downtown our rolling party will make our way to Morse Pond, we should get to school sometime around 8:00am. Other teachers are meeting up with kids in West and North Falmouth and riding in together. Once everyone arrives at school, we will enjoy some baked goods and hot coffee (for the adults) donated by Pie in the Sky, then we will start our regular school day. Everyone who rides will receive raffle tickets for our prize-giveaway, which will take place right after school. We are giving away gifts cards to local book stores, Bike Falmouth t-shirts, as well as iTunes and movie theater passes.

The other thing we have done is created an incentive program to try and get families to change their habits and start biking to school instead of driving or taking a bus. A fun and simple way for children to exercise is to bicycle to school. Children who do a moderate amount of outdoor exercise before school feel less stressed, are more ready to learn, and feel better about themselves. Students who ride their bikes to school are helping the environment by using human power instead of fossil fuels, and are making a healthier choice.

So I created this blog, and with the help of the Morse Pond PTO and others, we are providing incentives for our students to ride their bikes to school. Volunteers track students arriving at Morse Pond each morning and we are going to give prizes at the end of the school year. Categories include, but are not limited to; the greatest number of days the student rides to school, greatest distance traveled to school, or a combination of both. The grand prize will include an iPod Touch and two second place cash prizes of $100 each. Other prizes may include Bike Falmouth t-shirts, iTunes gift certificates, movie passes, bicycle helmets, etc. Every student who rides a minimum of ten days will receive either a prize or recognition of some sort (certificate, t-shirt, etc.). Since starting the incentive program back in April, we now have 5-10 students riding almost everyday. Pretty cool, but I know we can do better.

See you on Friday!

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