A Great PATH for Students
A local program that works with students with special educational needs is looking to various Safe Routes encouragement programs for inspiration and has created their very own program that works well for their students. It’s a great example of how each school can find the way that works best for them to encourage students to get active, both in their daily lives and in their transportation choices.
Path Finder has initiated the “Path Finder Active Transport Honors” (PATH) program to encourage students to become more active. They offer rewards and incentives to those students who commute to school under their own power. However, they also note that many students live too far away to commute by walking or biking so in order to make things fair for them they reward fitness related behavior that they do on their own time. Students can choose from a list of physical activities to do on their own, and then record those at school for rewards.
Path Finder serves students with autism and other challenges to learning and they see the importance of independent and active transportation for these students. As the program coordinator notes in this excerpt from a letter to parents, creating habits early will help these students throughout their life:
“We feel that this program is especially important for students with autism and Asperger’s syndrome as it will help teach them how to live on their own and interact with their ever-changing environment. As you know, it can take a very long time for a student on the autism spectrum to make and break habits. This is why it’s important that we begin teaching them healthy, self-sufficient practices and habits early. After graduation they will be relying on themselves for transportation, and we feel it’s beneficial for them to practice and learn how to do so while still under our wing.”
Nice work “Finding the Path” that works best for your program Path Finder!