Written by Jamie Stuckless of Stuckless Consulting Inc. 

Green Communities Canada and Stuckless Consulting Inc. have partnered on a new project focused on walking & wheeling skills training in schools. Funded through Ontario Active School Travel, the core objective of the project is to enable efficient collaboration across communities on the delivery of in-school training by providing expert guidance, as well as access to vetted processes and tools.

Providing students with traffic safety skills is an important part of efforts to get more kids walking and wheeling to school. Over the years, many different community organizations have leveraged grants and partnerships to develop local training programs and fulfill this identified need. This work has led to the creation of some very successful and impactful training initiatives. It has also led to a lot of duplication of resources across communities and left the vast majority of communities with no available programming at all.

One of the catalysts for this project has been the recent cycling skills training initiative launched by the Near North District School Board with funding from the Ontario Active School Travel Fund. Instead of investing in the development of a new curriculum, Green Communities Canada and Stuckless Consulting Inc. worked to connect local stakeholders with New Hope Community Bikes and their Ride Smart Program. In addition to providing proven curriculum materials and strategic guidance, New Hope also helped the school board procure bicycles, which are now being transported between schools in a trailer for training sessions.

This openness to sharing training materials, coordinating efforts, and learning from each other’s best practices and challenges was further amplified in our recent webinar on cycling skills training in schools. It is exactly the type of collaboration that we hope to help foster through this work, and ultimately see every student receive walking & wheeling skills training in school.

The project officially launched in September 2021, and will run until the end of March 2022 with two key project deliverables:

  • A best practices audit and report on existing walking & cycling skills training programs across Canada
  • The creation of an online resource hub to share curated content that supports the Active School Travel (OAST) network in implementing local walking & cycling skills training programs

Work on this project is being informed by the generous expertise of organizations from across Canada that are experienced in delivering walking & wheeling training in schools. These organizations are providing input through an online survey, submitting key program materials for review, and participating in a facilitated virtual discussion. 

We are grateful to have the following organizations participating as partners; CultureLink Settlement and Community Services, Cycling Into the Future, Ecology Action Centre, EcoSuperior Thunder Bay, Green Action Centre, HUB Cycling, New Hope Community Bikes, Niagara Student Transportation Services, Ottawa Safety Council, Peterborough GreenUP, Student Transportation Services – Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Student Transportation Services of Waterloo, and Vélo Québec.

We look forward to updating you on the project as we learn more from these organizations!

This project is made possible through financial support from Green Communities Canada and the Government of Ontario.