Empowering SF Children to Walk, Bike, and Roll to School

On January 18th, 16 Cleveland Elementary students hit a big milestone: they earned bicycles as rewards for walking to school, maintaining perfect attendance, displaying good behavior, and participating in other goals organized by the school nurse, Lily Dickson. 

Nurse Lily created a point system to incentivize these behaviors and also secured bike helmets to give away through Donors Choose. To help the kids build new habits, she also organized weekly walkbuses with the SF Safe Routes to School Team for much of the fall and early winter, encouraging alternative modes of transportation.

Cleary Bikes generously donated the bicycles to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition as part of their “Reride” program. ReRide is a simple yet impactful initiative: it upcycles pre-loved Cleary bikes, placing them into the hands of children who need them, thereby nurturing a community of young cyclists. Families purchase new bikes from Cleary, and once  their child outgrows that bike, it’s returned to Cleary HQ, becoming a permanent fixture in the cooperative. The family receives a rebate, offsetting the cost of the new bike.The pre-loved Cleary bike gets  a thorough tune-up before being redistributed into the community. Bikes continue to be passed down from rider to rider, potentially serving over 20 families throughout their life cycle.

The San Francisco Safe Routes to School Program also provided crucial support for the event, offering bike safety training for the students who received their new bikes. This training was conducted by a certified instructor from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, highlighting the coalition’s role as a connector for programs tailored to underserved communities in the city.

Each new cyclist received a bike, a new helmet, and information about upcoming bike education classes provided by SFBike and YBike throughout the city. Our goal is to equip the community with both the tools and the knowledge needed to ride their bikes safely. This collaborative effort exemplifies the positive impact that can be achieved when organizations come together to empower young students and promote active, healthy lifestyles within our communities.

This event’s success was made possible by the collaborative efforts of the San Francisco Safe Routes to School program, Cleveland Elementary Staff, and Cleary Bikes.  

We’re always looking to create more opportunities for San Francisco kids to thrive through active modes of transportation. Would you like to bring this type of activity to your school or community? Get in touch with us by emailing Adrian at acardenas@sfbike.org.

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