What would your school do with 10 bikes and 20 helmets?
This year the National Center partnered with Schwinn’s Helmets on Heads program to hold the National Bike to School Day Helmets on Heads Bikeshare Giveaway. During the month of May, registered events and resource people were entered to win one of 10 sets of 10 bikes and 20 helmets. We asked event organizers how they would use 10 bikes and 20 helmets at their school. Here are a few of the inspiring ideas that we heard:
1. Develop a school wide bike share program
Work with teachers and parents at your school to establish a bike share program. Students can check out bikes and helmets to ride at home and get a chance to practice their bike safety skills with their families and friends!
Here’s a great idea from one event organizer, “Each bicycle would also have a traveling class journal filled with stories and pictures about each student’s bike rides. The possibilities in teaching are endless when literature is combined with pedal power!”
2. Give mobility to students who are homeless
Start a bike share program in which students who are homeless can check out bikes and helmets, allowing them to ride to and from school, parks and activities in their neighborhood. Work with bike shops to establish free bike maintenance classes and safety clinics for your students.
“We would use the bikes to create a bike-share program in collaboration with churches, businesses or organizations that are located near the shelter and motels where a majority of our homeless students reside,” said one school representative.
3. Enhance opportunities for children with disabilities
Work with the special education leader at your school and establish a bike program for children with disabilities. Bike to School Day events create opportunities for children to interact and socialize with their peers. These events can also provide opportunities to teach pedestrian and bicycle safety skills, and positive experiences to encourage independent travel later in life.
One teacher explained, “It is a freeing and proud experience watching a child who has difficulties learning to be able to move with little to no assistance.”
Here’s an idea from another special education leader, “Our school has a program in place where our special needs students ride bikes to practice for their event in the Special Olympics.”
For more information and resources visit http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/get-set/plan-the-event/access-for-all-students.
4. Establish a Fitness Club
To encourage more physical activity at your school, establish a fitness club! A fitness club could be held before or after school a few days a week. Students could practice their bike safety skills, learn proper helmet fitting techniques, and enjoy bicycling with their friends and teachers at school.
One PE teacher explained she established a fitness club because “our school’s children only have PE one hour a week. With this club students receive an additional three hours of physical activity a week… biking is a great activity students can learn to enjoy for the rest of their life”
5. Hold Bike Safety Trainings
Work with PE teachers to teach bike safety classes and helmet fitting techniques. As one teacher suggested, “with bikes on campus, PE teachers, once trained, could hold special bike safety classes during PE time. Helmets at our school could be used to keep the brains of those children riding those bikes safe!”
For more safety tips and resources, visit http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/safety
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