Over 700 students participate in Bike/Walk to School Day

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Over 700 students participate in Bike/Walk to School Day

Amrutha Dorai

Freshman Jarod Olay walks his bike to school as part of Bike/Walk to School Day. The event, which was held May 2, encouraged students to seek out more environmentally friendly methods of transportation in getting to school. Photo by Margaret Lin.

On May 2, 743 students left the car at home and had a chance to win a free iPad as part of Club Commission’s eighth annual Bike/Walk to School Day.

The event, hosted in part by the PTSA, aimed to encourage student awareness of the harmful effects of vehicular transportation. Although originally planned to be held along with the rest of Cupertino in March, MVHS’ Bike/Walk to School Day was rescheduled to May 2 due to conflicts with STAR testing. Previously hosted by the now defunct Environmental Commission of Community Leadership, this year’s event was the first to be run by Club Commission, though the general concept remained the same.

Students who biked or walked to school that morning were met with parent volunteers handing out raffle tickets around campus. Participating students then picked up free breakfast in the Academic Quad and the Rally Court and turned in their tickets, which were entered in a raffle for a free iPad. The winner of the iPad, freshman Abhishek Sai Moturu, was announced May 3, and English teacher Mikki McMillion’s American Literature class — the fifth period class with the most participants — was treated to a pizza party on May 4.

Donations from Noah’s Bagels, Whole Foods and PTSA — as well as a grant from the Cupertino Public Safety Commission requested by Committee Chairperson Barbara Nishimoto — covered the cost of the breakfast and the iPad.

According to commissioner junior Simona Kotesova, the reason this year’s grand prize was an iPad rather than an iPod Touch or gift cards as in previous years was because Club Commission hoped to greatly increase participation this year.

“[The event] wasn’t so focused on numbers last year, but this year we’ve been counting the cars in the student parking lot and the bikes in the racks to measure the difference in people who will be biking or walking to school that day,” Kotesova said.

While the prizes may have been a factor in motivating students to participate, PTSA President Pam Siu hoped that they were not the only reason for stepping out of the car.

“A lot of kids either bike or walk to school just in general,” Siu said. “Hopefully they’re not doing it just for the prize.”