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Parkdale CI named ‘School Cycling Champion’ by CycleToronto

Monday, March 21, 2016
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

Parkdale Collegiate Institute’s Bike Club was awarded “School Cycling Champion of the Year 2015” by CycleToronto at its annual bike awards to recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses that have championed the promotion of active transportation or broken down barriers to make cycling more accessible. Three students and their staff advisor attended to receive the award.  They were lauded for a year’s worth of activities that culminated in more than a 100% increase in cycling to school during Bike Week in May 2015.  

The Bike Club started meeting separately in the fall of 2015, as a spinoff of a very active EcoClub at the school.  Among the many initiatives that keep the wheels rolling at this school are:  ABC (Anything But Car) days where students and staff are encouraged, counted and awarded for arriving at school by anything but a car; a grand celebration of bike activities during Bike Week in May; and advocacy work for CycleToronto in conjunction with the Parkdale BIA.  

The Bike Week celebration in May 2015 included recognizing and awarding prizes from local businesses to students who cycled to school, and an all-school assembly with guest speaker Gil Penalosa, whose international organization 8 80 Cities advocates for cities that are liveable and sustainable for all 8 year olds, 80 year olds and in between.  The non-profit organization promotes “walking and bicycling as activities, and urban parks, trails, and other public spaces as great places for all.”

Penalosa inspired students with photos from around the world showing how cycling works effectively, contrasting images from the local community where improvements are needed.  He encouraged leadership and advocacy from the students.  

To this end, the students from the bike club participated with CycleToronto’s Ward Advocacy group, in collaboration with Parkdale BIA, to survey pedestrians along Queen Street and gather data to help business owners in the area understand what brings business to them: walking, biking or driving a car.  The students from the Bike Club also participated in an in-school field trip where Urban Planners and other professionals visited to present overviews of their careers, the city’s infrastructure, and how making good decisions for the city can positively affect the people who live here.

Principal Alisa Cashore was proud of PCI students’ achievement, led by Staff Advisor Lois Bennett. “Active transportation…and [student] advocacy work within our cities and engagement by all of our citizens helps us and our world.”


 

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