As summer is winding down, the staff at McKinley elementary school are gearing up for the year and thanks to the Sustainability & Beautification Committee (SBC) this year will kick-off by pursuing the school’s goal of education and living a sustainable life.

McKinley prides itself on wining the two editions of the district’s Bike It – Walk It day, along with co organizing the Santa Monica Bike Festival held at the campus. They also coordinate multiple green events and sustainable programs for the McKinley students.

The latest program on campus is more for staff than students as McKinley is the first school in the Santa Monica – Malibu Unified School District to initiate a new program providing a pool of bikes for teachers and staff to use.

“SBC has always been invested to offer more opportunities, green programs and tools for the McKinley students and staff for changing habits and offering a greener school campus,” said Stephan Corbel, Sustainability & Beautification Committee Chair.

He feels lucky to live in a green and progressive city. The City of Santa Monica offers citizens a way to live a green and sustainable lifestyle and he believes that students, teachers, and staff should also be nurtured the same way.

New Principal Ashley Benjamin said, “Staff are excited to share these bikes to travel to and from work, to go to community locales and events, and to bike to the District office for meetings. We at McKinley like to promote healthy living and environmentally responsible citizenship at our school and in the community.”

Both Giant Bike Santa Monica and The Plaza at Santa Monica donated the bikes, as they are both partners with the SBC. Giant Bike also offered to provide maintenance on the bikes throughout the year.

The brand-new bikes come in different sizes with removable baskets and U-lock systems. The bikes have been delivered to school and have a dedicated bike rack near the teacher lounge for easy access.

SBC is now working with the dynamic mobility division of the City to improve streets and school access for pedestrians and riders.

“Having a greener and safer street environment for our school, providing new equipment such as this pool of bikes will help develop an extra layer of green habit and offer a more global green environment that all the students, parents, and teachers and staff will enjoy,” said Corbel.

The SBC will continue to promote sustainability efforts with the students and organize activities and events throughout the year, like Garden Bed program, Campus Beautification Days, Wildlife Habitat program, Santa Monica Bike Festival, Trash Free Lunch program, and much more.

“Giving the opportunity and flexibility for teachers and staff to use an alternative transportation at school is not only offering them a sustainable equipment but will tremendously impact the students on a daily basis,” said Corbel. “It will give students a role model to follow for a greener habit and make the students much more conscious with our environment.”

marina@smdp.com

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