Lane County 4J Safe Routes to Schools is seeking support for a fleet of 28 bikes, helmets, kickstands and curriculum.
On behalf of Eugene School District 4J and the district’s Safe Routes to School program, we request a fleet of balance bikes and use of the Strider Education Foundation’s curriculum so that we can pilot the Learn-to Ride unit at several schools in our district, with the longer-term goal of expanding to other schools throughout the district. The Safe Routes to School program provides a two-week Bicycle Safety Education class in many sixth grade PE classes and finds a significant number of middle school students do not know how to ride a bike. This results in a sense of shame for those students and pulls an instructor away from the rest of the class to teach those students basic riding skills. The “not-yet-riding” students, meanwhile, have missed years of potential riding and the opportunity to learn traffic safety with their peers. Teaching students to ride in Kindergarten will address this need while working towards our Safe Routes to School goal of encouraging active transportation for the school commute. To maximize the impact of the bikes and curriculum, we intend to leverage resources and integrate with curriculum already in place. Two years ago, 4J Physical Education teachers began teaching pedestrian safety to grades K-1, adding a grade a year, towards all students refreshing and practicing each year how to navigate streets safely. These classes give students skills that contribute to an active, healthy lifestyle. Several PE teachers are eager to expand the pedestrian safety unit to incorporate bicycling. We plan to incorporate Strider’s Learn-to-Ride program into their classes at Bertha Holt, River Road/El Camino del Rio, and Family School to give students a safe and fun environment to learn to ride, well before they enter bicycle safety in middle school. After a successful year-long trial at those schools, we intend to engage other PE teachers at the district’s 19 elementary schools, obtain more fleets, and spread the program throughout the district. The Safe Routes to School program will coordinate with PE teachers to schedule the fleet and ensure they have access to the curriculum and training; transport the fleet between schools; and maintain the bikes. Our vision is to use a mobile fleet of bicycles to serve 200 kindergartners annually and nearly 500 students in the first year (Kindergarten, 1st and possibly 2nd grade at three schools), and to expand to at least three new schools and continue at the first three within three years. We look forward to providing students with a valuable lifelong skill that will add excitement and joy to our already successful pedestrian and bicycle safety programs and give more students the ability to bike to school and in their community. - Sarah Mazze, Safe Routes to School Coordinator Eugene School District 4J
All Kids Bike® is a national movement led by the Strider® Education Foundation to place Kindergarten PE Learn-To-Ride Programs into public schools for free, using donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations. All Kids Bike is on a mission to teach every child in America how to ride a bike in kindergarten PE class.