SCBC to hold essay contest for kids
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For some students, the rain and cold of winter may put a damper on walking and bicycling to school. But Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition (SCBC) wants fourth-through sixth graders to consider what they love about it, rain or shine. 

To inspire them, SCBC’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is launching its first countywide “I Love Walk & Roll” essay/poetry contest this month.

“After having our biggest International Walk and Roll to School Day this past October, with over 12,000 students participating countywide, we wanted to hear from students themselves as to what they love about walking and rolling to school,” said Tina Panza, director of the Safe Routes to School Program for SCBC.

More than 70 Sonoma County schools and 12,000 students participated in the one-day “International Walk & Roll to School Day” promotion on Oct. 4. Of those schools, about 24 receive ongoing technical support and services from the SCBC’s Safe Routes to School Program.

The contest asks students to either describe in a 250-350-word essay why they love to walk or bike to school, or to capture in a poem the spirit of why they love walking and rolling to school. Essays/poems must be typed or written in ink, have a title, and be labeled with the student’s first and last name, grade, teacher and school. 

Essays will be judged based on the writer’s ability to express enthusiasm for walk and roll, and also on creativity and originality.
Entries may be mailed to SRTS Essay/Poetry Contest, Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, P.O. Box 3088 Santa Rosa, CA 95402-3088 and must be postmarked no later than Thursday, Feb. 28. Entries may also be e-mailed to

Two grand prize winners will receive a Schwinn bicycle and helmet, four runners-up will receive $25 Target Gift Cards, and 20 honorable mentions will receive $5 Jamba Juice Gift cards. 

Winning names and entries will be published on the Web site, Sonoma Family Life Magazine, and the North Bay Bohemian.  Prizes were donated by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Youth Spare the Air Program.

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