In 2017, BikeMN launched the Walk! Bike! Fun! Ambassador’s Guide, a training program and educational resource specifically for community members, parents, and volunteers who want to lead and assist with walking and biking initiatives for youth in their town.
The purpose of the Walk! Bike! Fun! (WBF) Ambassador program is to support organized youth education initiatives around walking and biking by engaging enthusiastic adult volunteers. The program includes both a free toolbox (guide) of best practice background and activities as well as an optional hands-on training that can be tailored to a school’s or community’s needs.
The intended audience for this program is adults who are willing to provide or support youth education. We recognize that valuable teaching often happens in informal settings, and not every adult has received formal teacher training. The guide (and training) help prepare adults to implement programs and activities that reinforce concepts and objectives of the complete WBF curriculum being taught in schools as well as a Safe Routes to School plan being implemented in the community.
These activities can be done in conjunction with an existing WBF program or as standalone efforts. The guide contains background on the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, including external references, which provide important context for these supporting activities. We believe (and the research indicates) that the effects of these efforts are maximized when combined as a part of a comprehensive Safe Routes to School program that includes the “Six Es” approach: Evaluation, Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Engagement, and Equity.
This program includes both a free downloadable guide and can give participants a general overview of walking and biking activities, or dive deep into specific activities like:
The Ambassador’s Guide also includes activity sheets, flash cards, leader guides, sample forms, and more.
Walking School Bus
A “walking school bus” is an activity for organizing students who arrive to school by walking, with basic education of safe pedestrian skills and adult supervision.
Bus Stop and Walk / Remote Drop Offs
A remote drop-off activity is an organized walking activity that has similarities to a Walking School Bus. It typically takes place from a bus drop off location a few blocks from school and involves students and adults walking together.
A “bike train” is an activity for organizing students who arrive to school by bicycle, with basic education of safe biking skills and adult supervision.
Walk and Bike Rodeos
A “Walk! Bike! Fun! Rodeo” is a skill-building, community clinic developed for the purpose of teaching children basic walking and bicycle riding safety skills, practicing and developing efficiency in a safe environment.
Biking and Walking Mapping
This activity is intended for people who are interested in developing routes for walking and biking but don’t have previous map making experience or access to sophisticated map making tools. These maps would be helpful to families when searching for safe infrastructure to walk or bike to and from school.
Get Started In Your Community
After an introduction to the overarching Safe Routes to School program, the Ambassadors Guide contains sections that drill down into topics such as how to organize a walking school bus, tips to successfully set up a walk and bike rodeo, youth bike education basics, and more. In addition, the appendices include tons of supplemental resources, such as flashcards, signage, waivers, and field-note cards.
Many communities and schools are joining in the movement to encourage more walking and biking as part of an active lifestyle. Typical Ambassador’s trainings are about four hours but can be customized to meet your needs