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Monday, March 11 • 11:15am - 12:00pm
More Than a Trendy Solution - Including Bicycle Safety Curriculum in Elementary Schools

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This session looks at two school districts that are including bike education at the elementary school level - Opelika, Alabama and Washington, D.C.

Opelika schools' bike education is based off of the Bikeology Curriculum, developed by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance - a free resource available on-line. The curriculum has been a powerful tool in equipping this generation towards the goal of an active lifestyle. You'll hear straight hand about what it took to get bike education included in Opelika's public schools. 

Over the last 4 years, the District of Columbia Public Schools has been teaching 2nd graders how to ride bikes safely on city streets. The DCPS ‘Biking in the Park’ program has taught 12,000 students over 4 years how to safely ride while discovering their own neighborhoods. People across the US and around the world have taken note and we’ve seen a trend of larger scale bike education programs taking hold. This new trend in bike education is more efficient, affordable, effective, and farther reaching than one-off, or stand alone programs. Schools can create a curriculum that can be delivered with consistency across the community.

This session will cover why this trend is taking off, the increase of children living in the city and walking and biking to school, and how education is shifting to meet these needs. We'll look into the parental influence over children's physical activity and play while also examining the teacher’s influence over children’s development and learning. As the DC bike education program is growing, we are seeing a holistic approach to bike education mostly only seen in Western Europe. The DC bike education program started with ‘Biking in the Park’ that focused on providing 2nd grade students with skills needed to bike safely and confidently. Now the overall bike education program has grown to include strider bikes in all pre-schools, and the beginnings of Traffic Gardens on school properties.

avatar for Chris Rhodes

Chris Rhodes

Physical Educator, Opelika City Schools
avatar for Rick Holt

Rick Holt

Bike Mayor, George Mason University
Traffic Gardens-Risky Play-Safety Awareness, parental Influence on the physical activity of children, resilience, how the built environment impacts psychological and physical health and well-being
avatar for Mary Butcher

Mary Butcher

Associate - Urban Designer, Torti Gallas + Partners
Mary received her masters in planning from the University of Virginia in 2015; her thesis was on the holistic approach to bike education for kids based on a European context. Throughout her research Traffic Gardens kept popping up. Nowadays she works for Torti Gallas + Partners as... Read More →

Monday March 11, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm EDT
Kennedy 3rd Floor