Updates From the Statewide Safe Routes to School Program: Safety Skills Education at Middle Schools

this post was contributed by Seth Schromen-Wawrin

Fall is in the air, schools have started up again, and Washington Bikes is helping teach bike and pedestrian safety skills. We are starting the second year of training for the Bike and Pedestrian Safety Education Program. This program trains physical education (PE) instructors in about 25 school districts across the state to teach a curriculum to 5th-8th graders about biking and walking safely in traffic.

This fall, Omak, Quincy, and Tekoa are already signed up to be trained and teach the course before the winter sets in. Last spring, our trainers traversed the state to train instructors in nine school districts (Bridgeport, Eatonville, Lynden, Pomeroy, Reardan, Sedro-Woolley, Wahluke, Waitsburg, and Zillah). If you live in any of these districts, your schools may need volunteers to help teach the curriculum.

Look for a flock of middle schoolers practicing bike handling skills and riding through mock intersections. As these youth become more comfortable and safer on bikes and on foot, we expect to also see more youth biking and walking to school, parks, and around their neighborhood. By next spring, about 20,000 students will go through this curriculum and be better equipped to make safe biking and walking a routine mode of transportation.

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