[MINNEAPOLIS, MN] – Today, many area educators participated in curriculum training on extensive lesson plans focused on safe walking and bicycling with the help of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN) and their Walk! Bike! Fun! Curriculum. This training helped train educators to teach students of any age how to be safe pedestrians and bicyclists through grade-specific classroom lessons and activities and on-the-bike skills practice. The goal of this curriculum, which BikeMN created in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, is to build students confidence in walking and biking and help them to stay safe, active and healthy.
“It’s awesome to see teachers light up when they learn that children can be taught bicycle safety through on-the-bike activities while at school. These are safety skills that kids will use for a lifetime and will help them to become healthier individuals!” said Angela Olson, Education Director with BikeMN.
“Edison High School has a vision of every student participating in bike education while at school. This training is one step in achieving that vision,” said Mike Minnema, Physical Education Teacher, Edison High School.
“Students look forward to the bike unit all year long, and it has a positive impact on the classroom and on students’ lives. Gaining bike skills helps students experience the beauty of Minneapolis, the adventure of bicycling, and the joy found in this healthy, affordable and sustainable activity,” said Kyle Hansen, District Program Facilitator, Physical Education and Health.
The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota updated the Walk! Bike! Fun! Curriculum last year to expand from 12 to 24 grade-specific lessons, update the adaptive curriculum, and add a new unit on public safety. Once an educator completes a Walk! Bike! Fun! Educator training, they are able to request a variety of technical assistance to support their classroom’s learning, including access to BikeMN’s bike fleets, additional educational materials, and phone coaching.
Youth use the streets for bicycling every day. Yet roads can be hazardous and children are not formally educated to skillfully maneuver on the streets. With lessons from this curriculum, teachers will have what they need to teach students traffic rules and regulations, potential hazards, and skills needed to walk and bike safely through their community. The extensive road, and specifically on-the-bicycle lessons offered by this program are designed to increase bike ridership, physical activity, and safe and predictable riding among youth.
More about BikeMN:
BikeMN is working to make Minnesota a state where everyone, everywhere can easily move by biking, walking, and rolling. The mission of BikeMN is to engage people, provide education, and advocate for biking and walking.