Eligible Elective Activities

Eligible projects will be school-based, education, encouragement, enforcement and/or evaluation projects. All projects must include grant administration, pre- and post-program data collection, and a minimum of two elective activities. Eligible programs will promote youth leadership while also working toward the larger goals of the Spare the Air Youth program.

The below example projects provide a range of eligible activities. Contact [email protected] with questions about whether an activity not listed is eligible.

Grant Administration (required)

The School Team should meet with technical assistance vendors at least twice during the grant, with additional meetings as needed based on selected activities. Vendors must participate in a High School SRTS Grant kick-off call. In addition, the vendor will be responsible for providing monthly reporting on grant activities and submitting invoices to Alta. School Teams should assist vendors in completing a brief final report summarizing the activities and outcomes.

Pre- and Post-Grant Student Data Collection (required)

All grant recipients will be expected to collect pre and post data using provided forms. Vendors and CCP/Alta will provide support for printing forms, collecting data, and conducting data entry.

Youth Advisory Board

Represent your school at a local and regional level by joining forces with student from all across your area to strategize solutions that can further engage students in building sustainable practices on school campuses. Youth Boards are a great way to further develop leadership and public speaking skills.

Single-Day Encouragement Event

Event days encourage students and families to try an alternative mode of transportation. Outreach prior to the event usually involves forming a planning team, developing outreach materials, identifying activities, and encouraging participation. Events may focus on the trip to and from school, while activities throughout the day can reinforce the messaging. One-day events are good events for leadership teams, as they provide an opportunity for students to practice community engagement and hands-on learning. Examples of single-day encouragement events include:

  • International Walk to School Day (or Walk and Roll to School Day) is the first Wednesday in October, when schools around the country promote walking and other alternatives to driving alone in the family vehicle.
  • Bike to School Day in May celebrates bicycling to school, while Bike to Work Day brings Energizer Stations around the Bay Area with fun bags and swag for people who bike.
  • No Cars on Campus Day promotes transit use and other active modes. Students can host lunch time activities or special presentations and activities in the empty parking lot.
  • Carpool to School Day/Cocoa for Carpools are great winter activities to encourage eligible students to drive their friends to school and other students to organize carpools. In Cocoa for Carpools, student groups hand out free hot cocoa to students who carpool.
  • Transit Day encourages students to try transit in their communities. Students can help plan routes for their peers and provide destination recommendations to students.
  • More resources are available at: www.sparetheairyouth.org/walk-roll-school-day

    Competitions and Multi-Week Challenges

    Competitions and other multi-day events encourage friendly competition between classes, with rewards for the student or classroom with the greatest percentage of alternative transportation trips in a given time period. Trips are tracked each day during the competition and the winning classroom receives a prize. Examples of competitions include:

    • The Golden Sneaker Award honors the class with the most students who walk and bicycle to school with a Golden Sneaker trophy.
    • Green Spirit Week or similar events can be school-wide friendly competitions, all with the goal of reducing student reliant on motor vehicles, while increasing awareness of other transportation options.
    More resources are available at: www.sparetheairyouth.org/challenges-contests

    Rally Activities

    Rally activities typically happen during lunchtime and build excitement, enthusiasm and awareness of active transportation and can be planned in tandem with other events, such as during Walk and Roll to School Day. Activities can include a bike blender, slow races, small bike slalom, chalk tagging, bike gear fashion show, helmet decorating, or other activities. It is a good idea to plan at least two rally events a week during an ongoing completion or challenge.

    Walking School Buses/ Bike Train

    A walking school bus is a group of students walking to school together. Typically geared toward younger students, a walking school bus walks along a set route and picks up students along the way to school. Similar to a walking school bus, a bike train is a group of students riding to school together. Bike trains can be organized through classes or using an online tool and students can pick up their peers along the way. Holding a bicycle safety class is a great first step to launching a bike train as it provides safety skills that students can practice on their rides to and from school.

    Bike Field Trips

    Bike field trips can offer an alternative to renting a bus or recruiting parent drivers, when the destination is within biking distance and the route doesn’t pose undue hazards. Students who do not own a bike can often borrow one to join their peers. Law enforcement can be involved to monitor the route and/or help direct traffic.

    Education Campaign

    Education campaigns teach students, parents, and school staff about alternative transportation options, including the health, environmental, and social benefits of walking, biking, carpooling, and taking public transit. There can also be educational campaigns developed for drivers, such as anti-idling and share the road campaigns. Campaigns may also include student-led presentations, to inform other students of the campaigns. Students can present at school assemblies, classroom presentations, or outside of school at community-based meetings and presentations.

    Education Curriculum

    Organize a guest speaker to come to your school or classroom Education curriculum can include instruction on safe street skills, environmental and climate-related education, sustainable transportation and urban design, and more. Classroom education should help students understand the role transportation choices play in environmental, community and personal health and are linked to Next Generation Science Standards, Physical Education or Common Core standards.

    Bicycle Repair Class/Bike Shop

    Bicycle repair education includes in-class or after-school lessons that teach students how to repair their own bicycles. Interested schools can check out repair equipment and materials for the length of the class.

    School Safety Assessment/Walk Audit

    A school safety assessment is a school/community event used to identify and evaluate the safety issues around a school. Students can lead these efforts by organizing assessments, documenting safety issues around schools, and presenting findings to PTA meetings or the school district. Assessment activities may include a walk audit (which includes observing arrival/dismissal and mapping safety concerns) or an assessment of the school/district wellness policy.

    Tactical Urbanism

    Tactical urbanism at schools are low-cost, temporary interventions within or around the school property that are intended to improve the built environment and encourage community building between students and the community. Example include:

    • PARK(ing) Day is an annual event where on street parking is converted into park-like spaces.
    • Open Streets are events where a street is temporarily closed to cars to provide safe spaces for walking, bicycling, scooting, and other social activities.
    • Pop-up parks are generally underused spaces that are temporarily transformed into community gathering areas through beautification.
    • Food trucks can be invited into spaces to attract people to underutilized spaces.

    Bike Parking

    Some school communities have students who may be interested in biking to school, but the school does not have enough secure bicycle parking to provide safe and convenient places for students to store their bikes on campus.


    Students are encouraged to apply for projects that fall outside of these suggested activity categories. The project must include a minimum of two education or encouragement activities fall within the eligible criteria allowed by CMAQ funding.

    Ineligible Activities

    CMAQ funds may support a broad range of activities and projects permitted under the state and federal SRTS programs. However, there are some limitations using CMAQ funds to support SRTS activities, including:

    • Incentives are not CMAQ eligible. While incentives are allowed expenses under the federal SRTS program, they are not eligible under the CMAQ program. Therefore this funding may not be used to buy incentive items or provide food, trophies, or other items used to reward positive behavior/positive outcomes under the program.
    • Outreach and Marketing materials are CMAQ eligible. It is important to distinguish “incentives” from outreach and marketing materials that provide an educational/encouragement message. The latter, if used for outreach and marketing purposes and not as a reward or compensatory item, are eligible provided they have a message and are of minimal value. This includes items such as stickers, pencils, pedometers, wristbands, caps, sun visors, reflectors, water bottles and similar items.
    • Safety improvements such as crossing guards and mobile radar trailers are not eligible, as they specifically address safety but do not directly lead to changes in travel behavior that result in greenhouse gas emission reduction. Safety improvements such as signage, warning lights, etc. oriented to motorists are also ineligible.