Kiyomi Noguchi has been biking with her daughter, Ivy, since she was a one-year-old. — at first in a rear bike seat and a trailer, then a trail-a-bike and now on her own bike. Kiyomi and Ivy love biking to school multiple times a week because they get there faster and have more fun than they would standing on a crowded bus.
Ivy attends Rosa Parks Elementary School in the Western Addition. Kiyomi, an SF Bicycle Coalition member, was impressed by how many people pedal from all over the city to drop their children off. “There are so many biking families that we had to get another set of bike racks installed!” she says. These families have gathered together to host Safe Routes to School bike rodeos, participate in Sunday Streets and Japantown events, and even make smoothies using a bike-powered blender.
Rosa Parks Elementary has created a vibrant community, attracting students citywide with its three distinctive programs: General Education with a focus in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), Special Education and the Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program. “It’s awesome. It’s a family,” says Anitra Baker, Family Liaison at Rosa Parks.
After living in the Western Addition for many years, Anitra notes that the neighborhood has changed for the better. “It’s changed drastically, but it’s for the good because the communities are coming together more.”
Rosa Parks Elementary is celebrating Bike & Roll to School Week on April 17. This will be Kiyomi and her family’s fifth year leading a bike train from the Inner Richmond. “It’s a good way to encourage families to try biking to school,” she says. “Hopefully, some people try it and realize it’s convenient.” Anitra often walks to school with neighborhood children, and will be leading the “walking school bus” on April 17.
Bike & Roll to School Week will be celebrated April 15-19 at over 90 schools throughout San Francisco. Is your school one of them? See the list of participating schools here.
Inspired to try biking to school? Pledge to Bike & Roll and be entered to win a free Cleary bike in your child’s size.