It's time to lace up your Golden Sneakers

How do you put a smile on a kids face and get them to walk and bike to school more? Hint: it involves a little bit of bling.

I’m Goldie, the Golden Sneaker Superhero. My special power? Inspiring children to try healthy transportation options as they compete to win the coveted Golden Sneaker Trophy for their classroom.

The Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools Program is gearing up for their annual Golden Sneaker Contest and it's my favorite time of the year. It's the time when I truly get to shine - pun intended - as I visit hundreds of classrooms wearing all of my favorite gold clothes. 

From March 2 - 13, thousands of elementary, middle, and high school students at about 100 participating schools across Alameda County will track their travel to and from school every day. Students receive a point each time they walk, bicycle, skateboard, scoot, carpool, or ride transit to or from school.

At the end of the two weeks, my helpers and I tally up the points. The classroom with the highest percentage of healthy transportation wins the trophy and a classroom party. At high schools and some middle schools, students additionally note their distances traveled and calculate the amount of greenhouse gas emissions they saved from polluting the air, all thanks to their transportation choices. 

So keep an eye out for me as I travel around the county, visiting classrooms and assemblies to promote the contest and cheer on the students and teachers. I’m easy to spot - with a bit of shiny spandex, enthusiasm, and a smile, I stand out wherever I go.  And I can't wait to see which classes will win the Golden Sneaker in 2015!

To learn more about the Golden Sneaker Contest, contact Safe Routes to Schools Director, Nora Cody.

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TransForum is the blog of TransForm, California's leading transportation advocate. For more about our work, including ways you can take action and contribute, visit TransFormCA.org.