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Walk & Bike to School

Walk & Bike to School
2017 Poster Contest
The award ceremony for the Walk and Bike to School Day Poster Contest took place at Verona Town Hall on October 23. October 4 was Walk & Bike to School Day and hundreds of Verona students and parents joined the celebration. This year marked the 20th anniversary of National Walk to School Day, organized to raise awareness of the need for safe, pedestrian-friendly communities. Verona Public School students from Kindergarten through 12 Grade participated in the 9th Annual Poster Contest sponsored by the VEC. Students' artwork was displayed at all participating schools.

Verona Mayor Kevin Ryan and Gloria Machnowski, VEC Chairwoman, presented the awards and encouraged residents to walk or bike all year around to support healthier habits, a cleaner environment, and pedestrian & bicyclist safety in our community. Winners received $50 dollars and an award certificate. The Commission also presented th
is 3-minute video. The 2017 winners (pictured from right to left) are: "How can we stop climate change in Verona? Go Green" by Isabella and Francesca Bopp from H.B.Whitehorne Middle School; "Walk, ride your bike or scooter!" by Lucy Hardy from Forest Avenue School; "Be cool, walk to school" by Joe Phelan from F.N. Brown School; "Verona, let's do our part to stop climate change" by Ariana Lelio from Brookdale Avenue School, "Do not cut down trees" by Wesley Shafer from Laning Avenue School; and "No CO2, just O2. Fun ride" by Edward Selimi from Verona High School. Congratulations!
The poster contest theme this year was: How can we stop Climate Change in Verona? 
For example, swapping out your light bulbs would reduce CO2 emissions by less than 0.2 tons per year, but living car free reduces your CO2 emissions by about 3 tons per year! The average American uses about 18 tons of CO2 per year, while the average person on the planet uses about 4 tons! More hot days are coming,our choices will decide how many. Climate Central has developed a new web-interactive tool that brings the reality of future heat to hometowns across the U.S. Simply enter the name of your city or town, or any place that piques your curiosity — to see how the number of days above summer temperature thresholds will change throughout the rest of the century, and how reducing greenhouse gas emissions can help reduce the heat.

When walking or biking people get to appreciate things they don’t notice while driving. Learn safe walking and bicycling skills. Drivers, please watch for others using the road and slow down. The rules of the road, be kind to one another! According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School there is a significant decline of walking and bicycling to school in the U.S. In 1969, 48% of children 5 to 14 years old walked or bicycled to school. In 2009, 13%. We are working to help change that!

2016 Poster Contest
Verona celebrated the 20 year anniversary of Walk-Bike to School Day on October 5th, sponsored by the Verona Environmental Commission. Students were encouraged to walk and bike to school and learn more about pedestrian and bicycle safety. Each year we hold a poster contest open to Verona Public School Students Grade K through 12. All posters were exhibited at the schools and entered into the contest. Winners received $50 dollars and a certificate from Verona Mayor Kevin Ryan at Town Hall on November 7. The VEC put together a short video presented at the event - Mayor Ryan congratulated all the students who participated in the program and thanked everybody that supports walking and biking to school all year around. The Mayor reminded residents that driving is a responsibility, not a right. "It is very important to put your smartphones away, slow down, and drive in a responsible way to provide a safe environment in our community" he added.Pictured from left to right the winners: Taylor McClain from Brookdale Avenue School for "Be kind to others". Dylan Frey from F. N. Brown School for "It's cool to walk, bike, skate, scoot to school!". MacKenzie Powley from Forest Avenue School for "I love the Earth! And you should too". Luke Latson from Laning Avenue School for "Ride your bike if you would like or use your feet on the street!". Graham Weber from H. B. Whitehorne Middle School for "She is our sunshine, our only sunshine, make her happy instead of gray. Just bike or walk to school". Serena Henderson from Verona High School for "Be green and plant a tree". Congratulations to all and thank you for supporting a cleaner environment, healthier habits, and pedestrian and bicyclist safety in our community! Younger children should always walk and bike with an adult. For safety tips please visit the National Center for Safe Routes to School.
2015 Poster Contest

We received over 200 entries from all Verona Public Schools for our 7th Annual Poster Contest. The 2015 winners are 'Live Green' by Annaliese Tietjen from Verona High School; 'Bike to School' by Tigerlily Fischer from H. B. Whitehorne Middle School; 'Green Up Verona' by Nishini Fernando from Brookdale Avenue School; 'Replant Because is Fun' by Christopher Caldera from F. N. Brown School; 'Be Kind to the Earth' by Reese Falcone from Forest Avenue School, and 'It's Cool to Walk to School' by Jack Latson from Laning Avenue School. Congratulations! Winners will receive $50 dollars and an award certificate from Verona's Mayor at the Award Ceremony on November 2nd at Town Hall. The theme this year was "Sustainable Verona". All artwork was on display at the schools. Sustainability is about living within the means of our environment and ensuring that our lifestyle doesn’t harm others. Walking or biking to school, turning off cars while parked and buying locally are just a few ways to make Verona more sustainable!

2014 Poster Contest
The VEC held its 6th Annual Poster Contest on Walk to School Day, October 2014. This year's theme was "Sustainable Verona". Students Grade K to 12 submitted over 200 entries. The posters were exhibited at Verona's public schools, the Community Center and in the kiosks of the Hilltop Reservation. Walking or biking to school, turning off cars while parked, buying locally, preserving open space, planting native trees and composting are just a few ways to make Verona more sustainable. The awards ceremony took place at Town Hall on Nov. 3rd. Winners received $50 dollars and an award certificate from Mayor Bob Manley. Thank you students, families and educators for supporting this program! Pictured from left: Jessica Sidrak (H. B. Whitehorne Middle School), Stephen Bartell (Forest Ave. School), Paul Chanley (Verona High School), Maya Cappello (Brookdale Ave. School), Erin Song (Laning Ave. School) and Juliet Alkaysi (F.N. Brown School). The VEC produced this 6 min. video with artwork submitted by Verona students to our 2014 Poster Contest. We received over two hundred entries from public school students grades K to 12. The video shows a hundred of those posters. Great job everyone! Pictured, Forest Avenue Elementary School Principal Jeff Monacelli walks to school with students. 

2013 Poster Contest
Verona public school students submitted over 140 posters to the VEC No-Idling contest on October 9, Walk to School Day. You can see all the posters in this VIDEOThe Award Ceremony took place at Town Hall on November 4th. Winners received $50 dollars and a certificate signed by Verona Mayor. Pictured here from left to right poster contest winners Maxine Haralambiev (H. B. Whitehorne Middle School),  Mark Serra (Laning Ave. School), Wednesday Fischer (Brookdale Ave. School), Amelia Koellhofer (Forest Ave. School) and Peter Popowich (F. N. Brown School). Top row: Deputy Mayor Jay SniatkowskiCouncilman Kevin Ryan, Mayor Bob Manley, Councilman Michael Nochimson and Councilman Frank Sapienza. 
To see all winning posters please click HEREVerona public school students submitted over 140 posters to the contest on October 9, Walk to School Day. The posters were exhibited at schools and they will be displayed at the Verona Public Library. You can see all the posters in this VIDEO. The video was presented at the award ceremony and it is currently on Verona TV. Congratulations to all participants for helping reduce air pollution!

2012 Poster Contest
The award ceremony took place on November 19th at the Town Hall Council Chambers. Winners received a certificate signed by Verona Mayor and a $50 dollars award. Pictured from left to right, bottom row: Bobby Donohue from Forest Avenue School, Mrs. Radigan, who received the award on behalf of Emily Wyne from F. N. Brown School, Thomas Radigan from Laning Avenue School, Diane Valverde from Brookdale Avenue School, and Julianna Spina from H. B. Whitehorne Middle School. Top row: Mayor Frank Sapienza, Council Member Kevin Ryan, Verona Environmental Commission Chairman Jerry Shimonaski, Council Member Michael Nochimson, Council Member Jay Sniatkowski and Deputy Mayor Bob Manley. Congratulations to all participants for helping reduce air pollution!
2011 Poster Contest
The VEC held its Annual Poster Contest "Idle Free Verona" on October 5th. Verona Public Elementary School Students submitted 130 posters with compelling messages such as: "Don't Drive Your Car-You Can Walk That Far!", "Keep Our World Magical-Stop Idling", "Change The Future-Walk To School" and "Save The World, Because You Can't Buy A New One". All posters were exhibited at the Verona Public Library and at all four Verona Public Elementary Schools. The Contest Winners, pictured from left, Sara Sexton (F. N. Brown School), Jackson Seawright (Brookdale Ave. School), Maya Golebieski (Forest Ave. School) and Geena Klinger (Laning Ave. School). Also Councilmember Bob Manley, Councilmember Jay Sniatkowski, Mayor Frank Sapienza, Council Member Michael Nochimson, Council Member Kevin Ryan (VEC Liaison) and VEC Chairman Gerard Shimonaski. Winners received $50 and a certificate signed by the mayor. Congratulations!

About a dozen Bloomfield Avenue businesses in Verona displayed on their store windows students' "Idle-Free" posters. Thank you AFG Framing, King's, Cleaners in that Mall, Carnevale's Car Service, Gemmel's Cleaners, Trend, JT Barber Shop, Verona Aluminum, Terry’s, C&J Trophies and Towne Scoop! 

2010 Poster Contest
We had beautiful sunny weather in Verona for Walk to School Day, October 6, 2010. All four public elementary schools celebrated the day by walking to school together and by participating in the poster contest. The children came up with very creative messages such as “Do not drive our rainbows away”, “Don’t bully the Earth”, “Be an Idol, No Idling”, “Not all clouds are beautiful” (referring to pollution), “Give your engine a rest…Make our air the best”, “Be Idle Free to Save Energy”, “Here is the Scoop: We Don’t Idle in Verona!” and many more. On November 1st at the Town Hall kids sent a clear message about idling, don't. It was the Award Ceremony of the contest "Idle Free Verona", open to elementary school students. Pictured from left: Sydney Theilmeier from Forest Avenue School, John Rosinski from Brookdale Avenue School, Sarah Cole from Laning Avenue School and Kelly Esposito from F. N. Brown School. Also Councilmember Bob Manley, Mayor Teena Schwartz, VEC Chairman Gerard Shimonaski, Councilmember Jay Sniatkowski and Deputy Mayor Frank Sapienza.
2009 Poster Contest
Council Members and the VEC Chairman congratulated the winners: Nicole Thompson from Brookdale Avenue School, Sara Marriott from F.N. Brown School, Jake Maisano from Forest Avenue School and Veronica Valera from Laning Avenue School! Mayor Teena Schwartz talked about the importance of reducing air pollution and gave children their award certificates. Winners also received an Eco-friendly water bottle and a DVD “Schoolhouse Rock Eart" 2009 edition for each of the participating schools.
Did You Know? 
An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour! Vehicle exhaust causes allergies, cancer, asthma and bronchitis. Up to 25% of NJ school-aged children are asthmatic. Idling for more than 3 minutes is against the law in New Jersey! Please turn OFF your car wherever you’re parked and waiting. Ready, Set, STOP Your Engines! 
Please watch "Idle Free Verona" 2 minute video from the VEC. It is part of the commission's local campaign against unnecessary vehicle idling. The video was entirely shot and edited by VEC members. The commission would like to especially thank the H. B. Whitehorne Middle School Environmental Club and the kids from Verona for their participation and support. The Verona Environmental Commission won a 2012 Environmental Achievement Award from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) for this video and our clean air initiatives. ANJEC described the project as "a perfect example of the scope a commission can achieve with enthusiastic volunteers!". For full screen and HD resolution please click HERE. Turn the Key... Be Idle Free!

According to the 
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection "An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour". NJ State Law prohibits idling more than three minutes for both diesel and gasoline vehicles. Learn what Verona kids are doing to reduce air pollution and how you can help! For information please click HERE

Verona Public Library ExhibitAll posters submitted to the annual contest "Idle Free Verona" are on display every year at the Verona Public Library (17 Gould Street) in November. The posters are organized by participating school. The exhibit was held at the Children Department during regular library hours. Pictured below are (from left to right ) Librarians Bill Trafton and Catherine Adair Williams and Library Director Mary Torrey, and pictured left, Children's Librarian Cheryl Ashley at the exhibit with children. Congratulations to all participants for helping improve Verona's air quality!

Verona's First Walk to School Day Poster Contest, 2009
Elementary Schools in Verona celebrated International Walk to School Day by walking together. Students promoted safe walking and participated in the poster contest "Idle Free Verona". The weather, far from ideal, cooperated at the end and Walk to School Day was a success!

Pictured above, a group of very enthusiastic students and parents with Principal Lanzo at F.N. Brown School.

Children brought plenty of beautiful posters to participate in the "Walk to School-Idle Free Verona" contest. Above, Brookdale Avenue School students posing with a very original double poster!
Laning Avenue School students, above, arriving to school. We have been told that their girl scouts daisies teamed up to draw their posters and we guess they earned some petals too! 

Above, fourth graders from Forest Avenue School didn't need to open their umbrellas during the walk. Their smiles shone all the way.
2013 HBW Winner

Why promote walking and bicycling?
  • To enhance the health of kids
  • To improve air quality and the environment
  • To create safer routes for walking and bicycling
Please help us support safe walking and bicycling throughout the year!
Tara Casella and Nicole Esposito from the Essex County Environmental Center in Roseland by the VEC's 2010 poster exhibit.

Pictured above Mr. Sampson, Superintendent of Schools, leading a group of students and parents towards Brookdale Avenue School. Great job everybody!