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Children with bicycles in the school yard.
For students in class 3A of Voisalmi school, the bike is a favorite pastime.

In Imatra and Lappeenranta, transport to school is sustainable

22.11.2022 10:32
The third graders won the school children's challenge competition. During the week, the majority of trips to school were made by bicycle. The competition was a part of the movement control project for the cities of Imatra and Lappeenranta.

Voisalmi school's 3A class students like to go to school by bike, on foot or by bus. This became clear when the cities of Lappeenranta and Imatra organized Sustainable School! - in the challenge competition, where the class won.

- The location of our school offers favorable conditions for walking and cycling, because the short distances make it easy to travel sustainably. When we discussed the topic together with the students, they came up with many reasons why we should all walk in sustainable ways, the class teacher Topi Myllynen says.

- When you walk or bike to school, you get exercise at the same time and can travel the same distance with a friend, a student in the winning class Sould, 8, says. 

- At the same time, expensive fuel is saved. Traveling by bus is also more efficient than by car, because the bus can accommodate more people at once, his classmates Leo, 9, continues the list of reasons students came up with to walk sustainably.

The bike is a favorite pastime for school children

Alma and Leo both have a journey to school of about a kilometer, and both prefer to go there by bike. 

- Traveling to school by bike is fun. When moving around on foot or by bike, it's nice to be able to take different routes from time to time. Sometimes you can also visit, for example, through a friend. You can also get there quickly by bike, which leaves more time to play in the school yard before school starts, Alma and Leo say.

Even though Voisalmi's 3A class students already travel sustainably for most of their trips, they also have a lot of ideas about how to get an even larger number of schoolchildren excited to travel to school either by muscle power or by public transport.

- Sustainable movement can be encouraged in different ways, at least with prizes. And we also need more information and enlightenment about climate change and why sustainable movement is important," Alma and Leo state.

During the competition week, the students marked on the class's common table which means of transportation they had used to come to school every day. The students in the winning class did not have to make major changes to their normal everyday life, as they traveled a lot on foot, by bike and by bus even before the competition. 

Organized in September Sustainably to school! -challenge competition culminated in a raffle, which was held among the most active classes. The winners received bike lights for the whole class and a gift card that can be used to buy snacks for, say, a joint bike or walking trip. 

- It felt really nice to hear that our class won the award, Alma is happy.

The competition encouraged people to move with their muscles and take public transport

In addition to the 3A class of Voisalmi school, among the five most active classes were the P4 class of Vuoksenniska school in Imatra, the 3rd class of Kuusimäki branch of Sammonlahti school in Lappeenranta, the 3rd class of Pulpi school and the 5B class of Kimpinen school. Also in these classes, traveling sustainably inspired the students.

- The students were initially very enthusiastic about the competition. They reminded me every day that a survey would be made of how each of them had come to school, the 3rd grade teacher at the Kuusimäki branch of the Sammonlahti school Kaisa Puranen says. 

- When I found out about the competition, I thought that I definitely want to participate in this with my class. I think that such competitions are good for stimulating students' thoughts about how and with what makes sense to travel, Vuoksenniska school's P4 class teacher Hanna Sarjanoja in turn says.

The challenge competition was part of the movement control project for the cities of Imatra and Lappeenranta, which has received a state grant for movement control from Traficom. The competition was organized from 26 to 30.9.2022 September 35, and it received a very enthusiastic reception: 600 classes and almost 42 students accepted the challenge. During the competition week, the vast majority of trips to school, i.e. 19 percent, were made by bicycle. The second most popular mode of transportation was walking, with a share of 15 percent. In third place was bus driving, which was chosen by XNUMX percent of those who participated in the competition. The cities of Lappeenranta and Imatra, in cooperation with Sitowise, were responsible for implementing the challenge competition.

For more information:

Traffic engineer Only Vuopio, P. 0206171205 aino.vuopioatimatra.fi.

This is how students from Lappeenranta and Imatra comment on sustainable movement

"By walking and cycling, you get exercise and your muscles get stronger. You also get more energy in the morning when you cycle or walk. I would like more races like this. The races are fun, and the most important thing in the races is not to win, but to participate." Bea, 3rd grader

"Sustainable travel is fitness and fun." Jimi, 3rd grader

"The best thing about walking sustainably is that parents don't have to limp back and forth. The challenge week went well. The best thing was that it doesn't get polluted." Jose, 3rd grader

"It's important to travel sustainably on school trips, because it doesn't use up gas. The best thing about going to school sustainably is that you can go to school with a friend." Hilma 3rd grader

"Remember to move and save nature!" Sami, 3rd grader

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