Jefferson Elementary in Port Angeles recently finished teaching the Bike and Pedestrian Safety Education curriculum to their 5th grade students. The PE teacher sent a short note to us about why she values the curriculum:
I had 7 non-bike riders at Jefferson this year when I started teaching the Bike and Pedestrian Safety Education curriculum. Now 5 of them are able to ride on their own! Three of them have bikes at home that just sat there before because they didn’t know how to ride. Now they go home and ride their bikes every day!! The two remaining non-riders are autistic kids with special needs. But they can now sit on the bikes and push the top pedal to get started, and sometimes pedal a few rotations. It is so exciting to see the kids take off riding!
Comments like this remind us the many reasons that safety education is valuable for our youth. Students are learning the rules of the road and how to be safe while riding. But almost every class that teaches the curriculum is like this one with a few students who do not know how to ride. The students are also learning about lifelong physical activity and how to use their bodies. Each year, of the approximate 10,000 students who go through the program, hundreds are learning to ride for the first time.