Essay by 8th Graders Wins HUB System for School

Tira Hauber, 8th Grader at South Middle School.

Tira Hauber, 8th Grader at South Middle School.

Avery Showalter, 8th Grader at South Middle School.

Avery Showalter, 8th Grader at South Middle School.

Thanks to the compelling essay of eighth grade students Tira Hauber and Avery Showalter, South Middle School (SMS) won the Walk to School Giveaway, earning a free Hub System for their school.

The Saris Cycling Group donated one Hub System to the Iowa Safe Routes to School Program (Iowa Bicycle Coalition) to help one lucky school celebrate International Walk/Bike to School Day.

For those who have not heard of a Hub System, it’s a simple yet effective way to encourage students and adults to bike and walk to school and work.  Participants track their trip by scanning a card across the Hub System located at their destination.  The trip is then recorded into the system where individual or group commuting statistics are stored.

Tira and Avery were motivated to write this essay because they felt the urge to make healthier changes at school in a fun way.

“Having a reward for walking or biking is a great way for students to be recognized,” Avery said.

In order to be eligible for the giveaway, Tira and Avery had to write a short essay explaining why their school deserved the system. The school also had to host a walk/bike to school event to celebrate International Walk/Bike to School Day sometime in October.

Tira said their essay stood out because, “it came from actual walkers who knew how the system would benefit them.”  Avery added, “Coming from the students’ perspective, we were able to make it fun and give lots of evidence for how our school and students could use the system.”

In order to raise awareness of the event and encourage students to participate in the walk, Tira and Avery’s advisory made a promotional video that was shared with all students during morning advisory.

Their hard work paid off. On the morning of October 8, SMS students and staff participated in International Walk/Bike to School Day by completing the ½ mile walk from Grant Park to South Middle School. The students who participated in the event were rewarded with a healthy breakfast, donated by the Waukee Hy-Vee.

South Middle School will be providing Hub System cards for students who consistently bike or walk to school.  On average, 50-75 students walk or bike to and from SMS every day.  The winning school is required to update the Iowa Safe Routes to School Program on the use of the donated Hub System.

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