Oregon Walk and Bike News

Interview with Luke: The "IT Guy" at Hosford Middel School

Luke Wisher is "the IT guy" at Hosford Middle School and is their Walk+Bike Challenge Coordinator. Thanks, Luke, for all of your hard work encouraging students in Hosford to walk and bike!

BTA: What are you doing to promote walking and biking at Hosford Middle School and why do you do it?

Luke: For the past three years I've coordinated our school in participating in the September Bike Challenge through BTA, Walk+Bike May Challenge and the National Walk+Bike Day. This year we organized our first bike safety curriculum geared towards the middle school population and hosted two weeks of free helmet adjustments, and gave away prizes for riding to school safely. Legacy Emmanual supported us with donated helmets so we could teach hands on helmet safety and replace students' old helmets or give helmets to students who did not have one. West End Bikes supported us by getting prizes for students, including bells, lights, and locks. This year we also are recipients of the Timbers Greenest Goals award which means we are adding more bike facilities and learning about alternative energy!

Can you share a biking or walking memory from your childhood.

I grew up in Flathead Valley under Glacier National Park. You could see the peaks of glaciers through the canyon or what we called the gateway to glacier. My father and I would take a tandem bike up the Going to Sun Road. The road stretches along the mountain sides and will take you to the last ranger station where the road turns to Canada. Of course it's a very touristy area but early in the season the road is closed off to cars and only walking and biking are allowed. It was always a fun and challenging father/son activity that I look forward to doing again and again.

How did you end up working at Hosford?

I moved to Portland about 6 years ago to live with my brother and started working for Recesstime Sports Leagues. As a sports manager I made new connections and friends which led me to applying for work at Hosford Middle School. I've always had a talent for working with people and technology, not to mention blending in education. I'm always learning more and teaching students/staff about educational technology. Having worked for Hosford 3 years now I even spoke at a conferences (Oregon Active Transportation Summit), completed grants breaking over $100k and I love being in classroom.

Tell me about how promoting walking and biking at Hosford is affecting students' lives.

The students had a stereotype of a typical IT guy and I wanted to break the stereotype by showing them who I am by promoting a balanced lifestyle of healthy activity and technology. That's kind of how it all started. I love soccer and riding my bike (my wife definitely supported me getting on the bike). Students spend so much time playing video games and living in the city they lose touch of what planet they live on! I like the quote from Einstein, "I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots." After hosting these bike events, students have been feeling more confident about biking to school. We have more bike riders than we did 3 years ago and I hope to get more. Its a challenge to appeal to middle school students but we are finding ways with the help of parents and the BTA.

Tell me what makes Hosford great!

Hosford is a very diverse school and is supported by great administrators. Hosford's diversity is its strong side and our teachers pull together an excellent education for students here. I always appreciate the open-mindedness of our group and our ability to see the lighter side during the hard times. I certainly would not be able to be this active in the community if it wasn't for a supportive school. When there is a need we do our best to fill it.

Join Luke and others as they work to change the world one student at a time by registering your school for the Walk+Bike Challenge!

Walk+Bike Coordinators Bring the Movement to the Next Level in Oregon

Margaux Mennesson is the Communications for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and is a great friend of the BTA!  Enjoy this guest blog post from Margaux as she helps spread the word about the Walk+Bike Challenge and Fire Up Your Feet!  Thanks, Margaux!

Walk+Bike school coordinators make Oregon’s walk and bike to school movement one of the strongest in the country. Now, the BTA, Walk+Bike, and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership want your help to take the movement to the next level. It’s time to engage even more parents and school staff in active transportation and physical activity in daily life.

How? We are partnering on a new nationwide program called Fire Up Your Feet.

Fire Up Your Feet empowers individuals (students, parents, teachers, and school staff) to sign up and track their daily activity online as part of Oregon’s May Activity Challenge. The online activity tracker is easy to use and fun. As a coordinator, that means YOU save time on collecting trip counts and logging trips for everyone at your school – all while helping to build momentum among more families for walking and biking to school.

 

The schools in Oregon with the most participation are eligible to earn Challenge Awards of up to $1,000 to use to improve physical activity opportunities at school. Winning schools might choose to install more bike racks, improve playground equipment, or host a Fun Run or walking event – it’s up to you!

 

So coordinators, go sign up at fireupyourfeet.org!

Every school that signs up on either website (walknbike.org or fireupyourfeet.org) is eligible to receive the incentive box of prizes from the BTA and to earn Challenge Awards at the end of May.

Interview with Kim, parent and Walk+Bike Organizer


Kim and her son

Kim Faber is the a parent and Walk+Bike Challenge organizer at St. Paul Elementary in St. Paul, Oregon. Thanks, Kim, for all of your hard work encouraging students in St. Paul to walk and bike!

BTA: Why do you love organizing the Walk+Bike Challenge at your school?

Kim: I love it because it gets kids out to exercise. It is also fun to see the kids excited to ride their bikes to school.

What is the biggest barrier to encouraging walking and biking at your school?

We are in a small farm community,  a lot of the kids live to far out to ride or walk to school.  I have to work with those kids, to come to school 15 minutes early and walk the track.  The school has helped out that the kids can ride the bus to a certain point and walk to school with adults who help out.

Can you share a story about you walking and biking to school when you were a kid?

School was about 2 miles from my house, so if I could get a couple other friends to ride with me, my mom would let us go the long way (back roads) to school.

What makes your program unique?

We try and get most of the kids involved, either by walking the track at school (for those that live to far out) or having the kids get off the bus at the Banker's cup and walk to school from their.  We also have drawing for prizes for the kids that participate along with healthy snacks.

Join Kim and others as they work to change the world one student at a time by registering your school for the Walk+Bike Challenge!