by Dani Gardner, Communications & Advocacy Intern
June 24, 2019
Another school year is at its end and, thanks to the Walk! Bike! Fun!, kids from all over Minnesota have the knowledge and skills to walk and bike more safely in their communities this summer. I attended a Walk! Bike! Fun! curriculum training in Roseville, where teachers learned the skills and concepts to bring bike and pedestrian education to their classrooms. I wanted to share my experience and help you decide if a Walk! Bike! Fun! training is right for you.
The day was split into two components: in-class and on-bike. Both rely heavily on a “train the trainer” model of learning. To start the day, Michelle Kiefer, BikeMN’s Safe Route to School Program Manager, and CJ Lindor, BikeMN’s Education Manager, shared the benefits of pedestrian and bike safety for youngsters and reviewed the curriculum’s content. After that came the on-bike lesson, which gave the educators confidence by asking them to try teaching each other lessons included in the curriculum. Finally, the whole group embarked on a bike ride, touring different types of available bike facilities in the community and sharing ideas on how to best plan for a bike ride with students.
After completing the on-bike component, we gathered to discuss ideas for how to use the curriculum in classes. Sam C., a teacher from Minneapolis, is excited to use the curriculum and “watch the kids learn how to ride a bike for the first time.” Sarah P., a physical education teacher in Esko, is excited to start using the Walk! Bike! Fun! Curriculum to “get the kids and herself outside and learn an activity to help kids stay active for a lifetime!”
The Walk! Bike! Fun! curriculum spans grades K-8. Thos in grades K-3 learn walking skills, and grades 4-8 learning biking skills. Educators who have completed the training have access to the BikeMN bike fleet, helmets, adaptive and balance bikes, and additional resources. Starting in Fall 2019, the Walk! Bike! Fun! Curriculum now includes an adaptive toolkit and supplemental resources that share differentiated learning tips and activity adaptations for kids with mobility limitations.
The curriculum has been taught to more than 700 educators and teachers in more than 150 communities throughout the Minnesota. Will you add your name to the list of educators?
If your community is interested in making walking and biking safer, you should host a Walk! Bike! Fun! training!