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Wheelie Wednesdays

By
Kristine Harmsma,   Robert E Lake Elementary
Play:
Topics:
Community Involvement,  Physical Activity Participation
We partnered with the Safe Routes to Schools community partner to increase biking and scootering to school among our students. We held a bike clinic, bike rodeo, and started a Bike/Scooter to School Club to help our students learn safe ways to ride and the benefits of biking to school as opposed to driving. First was the bike clinic. A mobile bike repair shop came to our school and students could bring their bikes to get fixed. The company called Velofix, changed flat tires, fixed brakes, and tuned up students bikes all for free. In addition, Safe Routes to Schools donated helmets to students who did not have them already. The bike rodeo was a chance for students to use their bikes to practice safety skills. Before the bike rodeo, Breakaway Cycling, a biking group, donated 12 bikes to students at our school who had demonstrated outstanding attendance in the first semester. During the bike rodeo, the students went through various stations including, start and stop, rock dodge, scanning, bike inspection, helmet fit, and even a portable crosswalk brought by a community member. To continue to encourage biking to school, we have started a bike/scooter to school club called Wheelie Wednesday’s. The students who ride to school on Wednesday’s meet in the “Lion’s Den” (the bike rack) and receive a bracelet. Each week that they ride they add a charm to their bracelet. We also discuss a safety tip each week. The number of students who ride their bikes to school has gone up significantly and continues to rise each week! This is our kickoff to encourage students to become more active at school and at home. We look forward to incorporating more FUTP 60 “Plays” into our school and community.

How do you plan to make this Play last during the school year and beyond?

We will continue to encourage students to ride their bikes as opposed to driving and motivate them with the bracelet charms. Next year, we will be using the bike fleet during PE time to expose all students to bike and pedestrian safety.

How did students and adults work together as a team?

We had several community partners volunteer at our bike rodeo. Breakaway Cycling donated the bikes and helped students at the bike rodeo. My friend volunteered his time as a DJ to make the event exciting for the students. The Safe Routes to Schools team helped me host my first bike rodeo and also brought the Velofix mobile bike repair to our school to help students fix their bikes and learn to take care of them.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

We are under construction right now and our school is without a black top. We used the parking lot after school to allow the students a safe area to practice their bike skills.