Algonquin Ridge Elementary Gets Kids Moving With Ribbon-Filled Fence

"Who Doesn't Like to Tie a Colourful Ribbon To a Fence?"

A Barrie elementary school has found a novel way of getting kids walking or wheeling to work.

Every Wednesday, students of Algonquin Ridge Elementary School who walk, bike, skateboard, or otherwise use active transportation to get to school then receive a ribbon on the way in. That ribbon can be tied onto the school’s perimeter fence as a visual representation of active transportation. Students who take the bus have the option of walking or running a lap of the school’s track to earn their ribbon.

The idea came from the school’s Vice Principal, Karen Moffitt. “Having the kids have a physical piece to put on and be able to say ‘that’s my ribbon, I put on that ribbon.’ Having a little bit of ownership over participating in something and seeing the reward immediately, it’s immediate gratification.” says Moffitt “And who doesn’t like to tie a colourful ribbon on a fence?”

“We’ve had some donations, and donations are welcome, so if families want to donate some ribbon to the school, that would certainly support us.” Aside from some financial support from the school council, Moffitt picks up many of the ribbons out-of-pocket.

“Having the families walking to school, seeing them bring younger siblings in strollers,” says Moffitt, “it’s an event that brings the school together, it’s a great sense of community. I would be happy if other schools adopted this activity.”