Wilfred Poton is the Physical Education teacher and Walk+Bike Challenge Organizer at Washington Elementary in Salem! Thanks to him, students at Washington walked and biked last month as part of the Walk+Bike Challenge. We asked Wilfred a couple of questions about the Challenge at his school.
BTA: Why did you take on the role of Walk+Bike Organizer at Washington Elementary in Salem?
Wilfred: I took on the role of the Walk+Bike Organizer at my school because I wanted to start a bike club. I took a Bike Safety Curriculum Training with LeeAnne and the cool crew from around the state and received information about the events such as Walk+Bike to School Day, and then the ultimate challenge of organizing a school wide event. Besides, hardly any one in my district was doing it, and I thought I could be one of those that was and spread the word. Hopefully more people from my district will jump on board.
BTA: What is your favorite story about encouraging walking and biking at Washington Elementary ?
Wilfred: Students are excited about being able to walk or bike in groups and enter the school receiving a cool incentive that they display on their backpacks, homework folders, and bikes. Having incentives has really motivated the entire school to increase their activity time. As a PE Teacher, it brings a smile to my face knowing that students are wanting to be active and are finding ways to do so even when the weather isn’t as nice as one would like it to be in order to go for a walk, jog, or bike ride.
BTA: What makes Washington Elementary special?
Wilfred: My school is special because we have after school activities sponsored by Salem-Keizer Education Foundation in which volunteers and teachers, such as myself, provide extra-curricular activities that students may not get a chance to do in school. Some of these clubs include: Chess, Gardening, Bike Safety, Jogging, Science, Culinary, Robotics, and many more.
BTA: Any final comments?
Wilfred: This month has been awesome!! Thanks for everything.
Thank you, Wilfred, for inspiring a Salem kids to be healthier and happier. We’re glad we have friends like you to help make walking and biking to school more accessible. You’re amazing!
Join Wilfred and 200 schools as they increase walking and biking one student at a time, and come to the Oregon Safe Routes to School Conference in Newberg, June 26-28 to create a Safe Routes program in your community.