We all want our kids to be healthier, move more and take advantage of walking, riding or scootering to school.
Schools across Brisbane have the chance to apply to join Brisbane City Council’s Active School Travel program in 2024 for its special 20th anniversary year to help make active travel easier and more fun.
The program is designed to support schools and families and encourage an active school community. Places are limited and applications close on 15th September 2023, so jump on board today!
What is the Active School Travel program?
The Active School Travel (AST) program aims to improve road safety, create closer communities, and encourage students, teachers and families to use sustainable and healthy travel options to get to and from school.
This award-winning, free three-year program is available to Brisbane primary schools and provides a wide range of resources to support families to leave their cars at home in favour of healthier alternatives, including walking, bike riding, scootering, carpooling and using public transport.
How can we take part?
To take part in the AST program, you need to express your interest to your school or submit an expression of interest form to the AST team here. The AST team will get in touch with your school to encourage them to apply. If your school decides to take part, principals need to submit an application with more information available here.
Remember that places on the program are limited. Applications for the 2024 AST program close on Friday 15th September 2023, so make sure you contact your school to see if you can take part soon!
If your school is successful, the fully supported program will begin in Term 1 in 2024. Parents and guardians of AST schools can be involved in the program by volunteering to be part of their school’s active travel committee.
What are the benefits to schools?
The Active School Travel program improves the health and wellbeing of students, teachers, families and carers. An equally important benefit will be the improved safety of the streets surrounding the school with less congestion during peak school times. Imagine streets filled with families moving to and from school, and the community and social benefits associated with this! The AST program models sustainable living – not just in theory, but in practice.
The program offers a whole range of support to encourage the school community, including free resources, tools and incentives. There are programs included to educate and motivate kids. In addition, the school will have the support of a dedicated officer to help make the process of creating a greener and more active community even easier. Participating schools will be able to provide feedback to Council on local roads, detailing any possible improvements that could be made to improve safety and help increase active school travel.
Do kids need to live near their schools to benefit?
Schools will benefit from having a program that can be tailored to suit the individual needs of their own school and the local community. One misconception is that school students need to live near the schools to participate in the Active School Travel program. However, parents can choose to park a short distance from school and walk their children in, instead of leaving them at the drop off zone. Even if this is something that you do one day a week, these simple actions provide a more active lifestyle and form the foundation of the AST program.
What resources will schools receive?
As part of the Active School Travel program, schools will receive a vast range of supporting resources, which are provided for free.
Each school will have its own dedicated officer, who can help to identify the best ways for the school to increase active travel and provide schools with specialist advice.
Students work together to win class and school awards. They also receive a customised active travel map, showing different active travel routes.
Educational resources will help to increase knowledge of road safety. These include RACQ Streets Ahead road safety sessions, curriculum links for teachers to use in class, and assembly performances.
Schools will also have the opportunity to participate in bike and scooter skills training and bus orientation sessions.
Finally, the school will receive collated statistics to track their progress and achievements.
How can we find out more?
For further information about the Active School Travel program and how to apply to take part, visit Council’s website. You can also email the Active School Travel team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call Brisbane City Council on 07 3403 8888.
So, what are you waiting for? Contact your school today to take part in this amazing initiative to make kids more active, school communities healthier, and local streets safer!