Students, families and faculty of Alameda County school districts are gearing up to collectively travel 286,900 miles this week, their goal of reaching the distance to the moon using alternative modes of transportation.
The Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools Program, or SR2S Program, launched Bike to the Moon Week to promote physical and environmental community wellness. The virtual event lasts from May 9-13 and will include schools from across Berkeley Unified School District, or BUSD.
“This year’s Bike to the Moon week is a fun way for students to boost their physical activity and helps reduce the amount of air pollutants emitted by cars,” said BUSD Sustainability Program Coordinator Sofia Peltz in an email.
Several BUSD schools have signed up to participate in the initiative, including Malcolm X Elementary School, Washington Elementary School, Oxford Elementary School, Thousand Oaks Elementary School, Rosa Parks Elementary School and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, according to BUSD spokesperson Trish McDermott.
Participants may engage in a variety of activities such as biking, walking, skateboarding, scooting or taking public transportation to contribute to their mileage, according to the SR2S website. The website notes these miles are logged using a tracking form and a special conversion factor — for example, one mile of biking equates to 25 “moon miles” towards their target.
Other forms of participation include posting on social media about the event for 25 moon miles or attending an education event for 100 moon miles. The SR2S website also provides event opportunities such as BikeMobile, Safe Routes to Schools, Bike rodeos, Pedestrian rodeos and Go Green presentations, offering a variety of ways to get involved.
Schools in Alameda County also have the option to host an in-person Bike to School Day this week on a campus-to-campus basis.
The SR2S Program encourages all community members to participate and log their moon miles, regardless of school affiliation. The tracking form closes on Monday, May 16 at 5 p.m.
“Biking and walking to school offers students a taste of independence, bonding time with friends or family, and can begin a cultural shift much needed to encourage more sustainable modes of transportation,” Peltz said in the email.