ST. PAUL, Minn. (April 23, 2014) –As schools gear up for Walk or Bike to School Day events on May 7, there is a new resource to help teach young people lifelong skills for walking and biking safely.
The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota published “WALK! BIKE! FUN!” — a comprehensive curriculum with engaging lessons for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade. Through classroom activities and on-the-bike skills practice, instructors can teach young people how to travel safely in their communities.
This curriculum is designed specifically for Minnesota and is structured to meet Minnesota education standards. It’s available for schools, community education departments and other community organizations. The lessons start with younger elementary grades (K-3) to teach safe walking skills and then advance to safe bicycling skills in the upper elementary grades (4-6). It includes lessons to teach:
• How to safely cross the road
• Traffic laws and responsible riding
• Parts of a bike and proper attire including wearing a bike helmet
• Communicating with pedestrians and vehicle drivers
• Scanning, stopping and proper positioning on the road
“Walking and biking in their communities, including to and from school, is a great way for kids to get physical activity and create healthy, lifelong habits,” said Janelle Waldock, director of the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross. “However, many families see safety as a barrier. This training is designed to help overcome this, by providing kids the skills and confidence needed to safely incorporate walking and biking into their daily lives.”
“We want our youth to learn the skills they need to safely walk and bike in their communities. This new curriculum will help them use those skills for a lifetime as they grow up to be users of the multimodal transportation system in Minnesota,” said MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “Schools that use the new curriculum are helping to enhance health and environmental benefits in their communities.”
Throughout the month of May, staff from BikeMN who are certified League Cycling Instructors will conduct hands-on training sessions for educators who are ready to start teaching these fun and important skills.
The first event will be held on May 1, from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Sartell District Office, Sartell.
The second will be held May 20, from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Ramsey Middle School, Minneapolis.
The third will be held May 29, from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., East Ridge High School, Woodbury.
To participate in a training session or to find out how you can make your community safer for kids to bike and walk contact: Michelle Breidenbach at [email protected], or call 507-430-2280.
To download a free copy of the curriculum, visit: http://bikemn.org/education/srts-education-curriculum.