In 2011, the Sunnyvale School District began a partnership with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department to bring a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program to every school within the district. SRTS aims to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children and their families to walk and bicycle to and from school.
The SRTS Parent Coordinators at each school play a vital role in the program as they work alongside their school administrators, teachers, Public Health Department, city of Sunnyvale staff, and community members to encourage and educate students and families to walk and bike to school safely.
The Sunnyvale School District and the SRTS Collaborative would like to recognize the contributions of SRTS Parent Coordinators each quarter, and would like to recognize Cumberland Elementary’s Ariel Yule and Rebecca Richardson.
“Ariel and Rebecca’s passion, leadership, and commitment to the program has helped to change the culture of how Cumberland students travel to and from school,” said Tonya Veitch, Health Planning Specialist for the Public Health Department. “Their contributions have led to an increase in students walking and biking to school, which has led to a decrease in the number of families coming to Cumberland by car.”
Ariel and Rebecca have helped coordinate at Cumberland:
- Weekly Wednesday Walk and Roll to School Days
- National Walk and Bike to School Week (October and May)
- Student and Parent Traffic Safety Education
- Free Bike Repair and Helmet Fitting Services
- Walk and Roll Student Sticker Contest
- Rally Support of School Administration, Teachers, PTA, and Parents
“I enjoy the one-on-one time with my son as we’re riding our bikes to/from school and the health benefits it brings, both physical and environmental,” Ariel Yule said. “Wednesday comes and kids tell their parents ‘It’s Walk and Roll today!’ and that’s what it’s all about. It’s a learned habit that can bring such joy. To all those parents out there, I say, give Safe Routes to School a try!”
“I love that I don’t have to look for a parking space in the morning and the feeling that my kids and I get a little exercise and sunshine to start our day,” Rebecca Richardson added. “Yes, give it a try! And with your help, we will continue to work to ensure Safe Routes to School.”
For more information about Safe Routes to School, contact your school’s Parent Coordinator or visit the Santa Clara County Public Health Department website at www.sccphd.org/traffic.
Article by Tonya Veitch, Health Planning Specialist, Santa Clara County Public Health Department