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Portland Bureau of Transportation

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Laurelhurst's Alternative Transportation Week

By Camille Sullivan, 6th grade student

 

Motivation and the environment are two seemingly unrelated topics. Similarities are noticed only when carefully examined. Motivation starts and finishes with a goal and a reason. People feed off incentives; we crave success. The environment is thought to be a different topic altogether. However, it is not. The popularity of earth-friendly products and modes of transportation is growing thanks to incentives. A hybrid car creates a tax refund in addition to saving money due to the efficient mpg. Walking and biking to school means a pizza party or a class reward. Rewards fuel motivation and spreads awareness. Interest and awareness ultimately builds success. At Laurelhurst School, Walk and Bike to School Month in addition to the Rhone Roumpf No Car Challenge, (RRNCC), proved this idea true.

 

Walk and Bike Challenge Month gave Laurelhurst School a healthy dose of competition. Weekly updates were posted in a common hallway for all to see. Mid-level students also had the option to participate in the RRNCC. In the RRNCC, two teachers, (Ms. Rhone and Ms. Roumpf), created an alternative transportation challenge for middle school students. The competition was each individual student against Ms. Rhone and Ms. Roumpf. For a student to win the RRNCC, the student’s percentage of alternative transportation to get to and from school had to be equal to or greater than Ms. Rhone and Ms. Roumpf’s combined percentage. Students who accomplished this were promised pizza. Two challenges proved to be an effective strategy for using alternative transportation. During the month of May, Laurelhurst students made nearly 5,000 active trips to school.