National Center for Safe Routes to School and Schwinn’s Helmets on Heads Program Announce 2015 Mini-Grant Recipients

Grants award funding to 25 U.S. schools, municipalities and organizations to support bicycle and helmet safety for children

(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) January 21, 2015 —The National Center for Safe Routes to School and Schwinn, through its Helmets on Heads program, today announced a selection of twenty five mini-grant recipients. The two organizations have teamed up to provide $1,000 mini-grants to twenty five schools across the country.  These mini-grants will help to support educators, communities and families in encouraging children to safely bike to school during the spring 2015 semester.

“We are excited for the opportunity to support these schools in establishing and sustaining bicycle safety education programs,” said Lauren Marchetti, Director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School. “We received many innovative and inspiring applications, showing how communities are tailoring programs to their unique strengths and challenges.”

The National Center for Safe Routes to School received 170 eligible mini-grant applications from schools and community organizations nationwide. Recipients selected in the highly competitive process distinguished themselves with innovative ideas that identified a need for bicycle safety education and proposed a sustainable program to address it.

"These recipients represent a collection of great ideas and great need,” says Milissa Rick, Global Director of Consumer Activation, Pacific Cycle. “Schwinn, through the Helmets on Heads initiative, is excited to aid these communities in their helmet and bicycle safety efforts, further ensuring children and parents are educated properly on the importance of safe bicycle riding.”

Proposed mini-grant activities include peer mentored programs for bicycling and helmet safety, student-developed bike safety videos, bike share programs for low income communities and bike repair workshops.

The selected 25 mini-grant recipient organization programs and activities include:

Alaska

Sunshine Community Health Center (Talkeetna, Alaska) and Backcountry Bicycles will work together to provide basic bike safety, proper helmet fittings, and bike maintenance workshops. They will also provide helmets to those kids in need, at no cost to the child. Students will take leadership roles at school by promoting the bike safety classes and making bike safety posters.

Arizona

Miller Valley Elementary School (Prescott, Arizona) will work with Prescott Alternative Transportation to build the Earn-A-Bike Project Prescott. This bicycle safety program will enable students to earn a bike if they attend bike education classes. Through the project, students will gain knowledge of road and helmet safety.

Arkansas

Cord-Charlotte Elementary School (Charlotte, Arkansas) will develop a school-wide bicycle program for students in grades four to six. They will establish a bike share that students can utilize after completing a 12-hour bike and helmet safety program. This will be offered to small groups of ten or less, and the four week rotation will continue until all students have completed the program.

Crawford County Health and Education Coalition (Van Buren, Arkansas) will host a kickoff event for their new bicycle safety program at the Boys and Girls Club of Van Buren. During this event they will invite local police, fire, emergency medical technicians, and first responders to help engage and educate students about the importance of bicycle safety. The CCHEC will purchase 22 new bicycles for their program.

California

Cycles of Change (Oakland, California) will support its existing bicycle safety curriculum run throughout Alameda and West Contra Costa counties. They will purchase bicycle equipment to be used during their helmet fittings, bicycle fittings, and bike rodeos. They will create a “mock city” with road and traffic signs to teach students about the rules of the road.

Maya Lin School (Alameda, California) will pilot a bike share program and helmet giveaway for their bike safety classes. Students will be able to sign-out bicycles, as well as locks and helmets for a two week period in order to practice their bicycle safety skills. They will also participate in a Skills Drills Bicycle Safety Course, teaching students about bicycle and helmet safety.

McKinley Elementary School (Santa Monica, California) will further develop their bicycle program to include a peer-based biking club. The program will train upper grade students to become bike stewards for their younger peers and educate them on bicycling safety practices. The school will purchase helmets to distribute to their low-income students. They will also buy safety vests, flags and flashing lights for their student bike leaders.

Old Orchard Elementary School (Valencia, California) will create a bike share program and develop quarterly bike and helmet safety classes. Their special education students will take part in the program, encouraging independent travel. This program will give mobility to students whose families cannot afford to purchase a bike by providing an opportunity to check out a bike to ride to and from school, parks and other community activities.

Wood Middle School (Alameda, California) will bring together teachers and the Parent Teacher Association to develop multi-disciplinary learning methods to teach students why helmets are necessary in preventing injury. Students will engage in this topic through all their classes: science, language arts, math, history, technology/media, physical education, and the arts. Lesson plans will be refined throughout the year, monitored monthly, and highlighted at their first spring safety event.

Connecticut

Plymouth Public School District (Terryville, Connecticut) will support its after school bicycle club by purchasing more bicycles, helmets and safety vests for students. Students in the program will develop a safety skills video focusing on bicycle and helmet safety. This video will be shared with elementary school students across the district.

Florida

Citrus County Schools (Inverness, Florida) will support its existing bicycle safety program that serves nine district schools. The transportation department will travel around to the district schools with bicycle, helmet and safety equipment to educate the students on helmet and road safety.

Pinewood Elementary School (North Lauderdale, Florida) will build an outdoor bicycle skills station circuit with cones and road signs to teach bike safety and simulate real biking conditions. The course will be a part of the physical education curriculum and the school’s workshops on the ABCs of bike safety. Classroom teachers will be trained on safety equipment and the course.

Port Charlotte Middle School (Port Charlotte, Florida) will purchase bicycles, locks, and helmets for homeless students in grades six to eight. Their school resource officer will hold helmet and bike safety classes during the spring. They hope to see an increase in attendance as students with bikes will have safe and easy access to transportation.

Kentucky

WalkBike Frankfort (Frankfort, Kentucky) will help support Frankfort’s Second Street School’s bicycling community by offering Youth Safe Cycling instruction. During these workshops, students will get hands-on instruction on bicycle maintenance and repair; learn how to identify safe routes from home to school; and practice safe bicycle riding techniques.

Michigan

Norte! Traverse City Youth Cycling (Traverse City, Michigan) will develop a weekly bicycle club for third through fifth grade students. This ten week program will focus on different safety elements each week such as rules of the road, trail etiquette, basic mechanics, and on-street bike riding skills. The student-run club will allow bike club members to train their peer about bicycle safety during classroom time.

Minnesota

Brooklyn Center Secondary Arts and IB World School (Brooklyn Center, Minnesota) will support their Bike Club by purchasing helmets for students. In this program, students will participate in “Earn-a-Bike” where they will learn bicycle maintenance and safety skills in return for a bicycle of their own. The new helmets will provide students the opportunity of a safe ride.

Pillsbury School (Minneapolis, Minnesota) will support its Pedal Power bike club by giving each fourth grade student their own helmet to help them ride safely at school and at home. With the new helmets, Pedal Power will organize local learning field trips where students will use bikes as transportation instead of buses. Students will also be taught to master safe biking skills as a tool to build self-esteem and confidence.

Montana

Hellgate Middle School (Missoula, Montana) will add on to their current bicycle education program by teaching students about proper helmet fitting, bike fitting and safe cycling. Working with the school’s physical education classes and bicycle program, students will learn how to ride safely in local neighborhoods and with the correct equipment.

New Jersey

Chesterfield Elementary School (Chesterfield, New Jersey) will purchase bicycle equipment to launch a bicycle safety program during their regular health and physical education classes. Their curriculum will include instruction on various bicycle safety skills, proper helmet fitting techniques and brain injury awareness. Once the fifth grade students graduate from the program, they will be able to assist in teaching these classes the following year as sixth graders.

New York

Cypress Hills Community School PS89 (Brooklyn, New York) will establish an after school program offering group bicycle rides at local neighborhood parks. During these rides, students will learn helmet safety and basic bicycle maintenance. Mini-grant funds will help purchase additional helmets and basic bike repair kits and tools for students to use outside of class time. These students will then help lead Street Smart/Helmet Safety workshops to their peers during homeroom class.

North Carolina

BikeSmart-GrowSmart (Raleigh, North Carolina) will conduct bicycle safety trainings at elementary and middle schools throughout Wake County, North Carolina using newly purchased helmets and equipment. These trainings will teach students proper helmet fittings, bicycle safety checks, and will feature bicycle repair clinics. They will continue to train adults as certified volunteers for their program and will partner with local community organizations to hold training sessions.

Thomasville City Schools (Thomasville, North Carolina) will raise awareness for pedestrian and bicycle safety by implementing a bicycle safety curriculum to their fourth grade students. They will purchase new bikes for their program and partner with community bike shops to teach students the importance of bicycle and pedestrian safety.

Virginia

Cumberland County Elementary School (Cumberland, Virgina) will promote bicycling safety in the Cumberland community through the school’s physical education program. They will purchase helmets for their gym class so that students can learn basic skills on how to ride safer and smarter. They will then sponsor a “Night of Excellence” to allow their student cyclists to showcase their bicycle abilities gained during gym time.

Wisconsin

Waupaca Learning Center (Waupaca, Wisconsin) will create a bicycle safety video series to be featured on their school’s television station and local Waupaca cable station. The Learning Center will also make a public service announcement for the local radio station. Students will cover topics like proper bike fittings, helmet fittings, and bike safety. They will also plan a bike safety rally with the help of local high school students which will be open to the whole community. The rally will offer an opportunity for students and parents to challenge their biking and safety skills.

Omro Middle School (Omro, Wisconsin) will purchase new, high quality and well-fitting helmets for students to use while participating in their established bicycling programs. Their programs include bicycling basics covering group-ride safety and basic operating techniques. Omro Middle School has also designed an obstacle course called Cyclocross as well as the Road Touring unit which will educate students about the responsibilities of operating a bicycle as a legal vehicle on public roads.

To learn more about the National Center for Safe Routes to School visit: http://www.saferoutesinfo.org, and for more on Schwinn’s Helmets on Heads program, visit http://www.helmetsonheads.org/

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About the National Center for Safe Routes to School

Established in May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School assists states and communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bicycle to school. The National Center serves as the information clearinghouse for the federal Safe Routes to School program with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Part of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, the National Center also provides technical support and resources and coordinates online registration efforts for Bike to School Day and Walk to School Day which includes worldwide promotion and participation. For more information, visit www.saferoutesinfo.org or www.walkbiketoschool.org.  

About Helmets on Heads

Helmets on Heads is a comprehensive initiative from Schwinn meant to encourage and educate bike riders of all ages on the importance of wearing helmets. In 2014, we have partnered with the National Center for Safe Routes to School to reach and engage educators, local communities, and families across the U.S., with information and resources to get involved and take action on helmet safety. Helmets on Heads is committed to educating one million kids about bike helmet safety over 10 years.  Helmets on Heads is driven by a desire to have every rider wearing a helmet. Learn more atwww.helmetsonheads.org.

About Schwinn

Founded in 1895, Schwinn is an American icon, building some of the best-known and best-loved bicycles of all time.  With a continued dedication to quality, forever synonymous with the Schwinn name, America’s most famous bicycle brand looks forward to providing another century of innovation and performance to people of all ages.  Information about Schwinn bicycles is available at www.SchwinnBikes.com. Be sure to follow Schwinn on Twitter at @RideSchwinn and like Schwinn on Facebook at Ride Schwinn.