In June I was asked to stop in Sprockets Bike Shop to chat with Ken Hinkle about the potential of Velo Fest Community Initiative partnering up on a bike program. At the time, and without hesitation I jumped at the opportunity. Little did I know we would be asked to pilot a bike to school program for the new green Palencia Elementary School. This was exactly in our wheelhouse.
After a quick Q & A with Ken I was introduced to his wife Jennifer and we began the process of developing the program envisioned by Principle Don Campbell along with Vice Principle Kasey Baker and teacher Sean Farnum. So many ideas were rolled around. We decided that the process would be to establish a map and routes first, then identify teachers who would be “roll” models(thank you to Henry Micheal Harvey.) Next we would produce a preliminary map to distribute at the grand opening along with a bike safety check and answer session for parents. This allowed us to leave the program “open ended” if you will and let the parents come up with the holes in the program that we may not have thought of.
Here is the map that Troika helped to design. How fun is this? And once we have all the details of the program complete, we will be making these into heavy post card stock for the kids to carry in their backpacks. Route Map
The Palencia Elementary School Grand Opening was August 18th and was a huge success. It was very obvious that the school promotes a strong connection with the local business community and wants to be involved with programs to bring more educational opportunities for the children. From first raising of the American Flag, to the exit of the St.Johns County Sheriff helicopter, it was a well planned and executed event. The ribbon cutting was not to disappoint as Principle Campbell used a pirate sword versus scissors, and the cannons from the Fernandina Pirates club fired perfectly.
After the ribbon cutting, parents entered the school in true attraction style. I felt privileged to be walking into the new state of the art green certified school.
At this time while parents met the teachers, I went to our booth and finalized prepping all the items we had discussed. In addition to the route maps, we thought it was important to engage the children in some food for thought and utilized some interesting statistics about cycling versus driving a car. Check out our photos.
It was a great event and exactly what Velo Fest Community Initiative was formed to do. Increase awareness, educate, and fund local projects. We were able to participate and put a hyper focus and funds on a project that will benefit generations to come.
At 8:10 Monday morning I will be riding along with the kids to observe and build the foundations for the programs daily logistical needs. Im really excited to see the teachers and kids come together and cruise on into class.