Back to (Safe Routes to) School
Bicycle Colorado’s 2014-15 Safe Routes to School programming kicked off just after Labor Day at Normandy Elementary School in Jefferson County. This year, we will be working with children in Crested Butte, Denver, Englewood, Gunnison, Jefferson County, Montrose and Sheridan.
In addition to offering our traditional Safe Routes to School curriculum at many schools, Bicycle Colorado will be expanding our “train the trainer” programs. These programs allow us to expand our reach by teaching staff and volunteers from schools, police departments, clubs and other organizations to offer bicycle education. There is growing demand for self-sufficiency and sustainability in Safe Routes to School programs, and we are thrilled to be able to provide training to help with these efforts and expand the reach of our expertise.
Expanded programming in Englewood
An excellent example of this expanded programming is the work we will be doing with the Englewood School District this year. With a previous Safe Routes to School grant, Englewood purchased small fleets of bikes for all four elementary schools to enable ongoing bicycle safety education in physical education classes.
This year’s grant will enable the district to purchase some additional bikes, including adaptive bikes to allow students with disabilities to fully participate in the bike education. The grant will also allow Bicycle Colorado to train physical education teachers to lead group rides and teach advanced bicycle skills that will help students navigate the semi-urban environment of Englewood.
A recent survey of middle school students in Englewood revealed that many students have access to bikes at home but do not ride them because they need repairs. About one third of students reported that they have a bike but do not ride it because it has a flat.
To combat these issues, the program will include teaching staff to maintain the schools’ fleets of bicycles. Staff will identify older students who they can train to help with ongoing bike maintenance, enabling these students to help their peers and younger students fix their bikes and get them riding again.
Bring Safe Routes to your school
If you are interested in bringing a Safe Routes to School program to your school next year, check out the Colorado Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School page. The program is funded for next year thanks to a bill that was passed by the Colorado State Legislature earlier in the year, with much support and encouragement from Bicycle Colorado. We work with many school districts each year to bring Safe Routes to School programming to schools. Contact Jenna if you’re interested in learning more about what Bicycle Colorado can offer.