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As part of our ongoing commitment to reach schoolchildren across Texas with a message of bicycle safety, BikeTexas regularly conducts teacher training sessions in the SafeCyclist Curriculum with the help of a TxDOT grant. Since 1991, BikeTexas has certified close to 4,000 PE teachers and youth community workers. In addition, our SafeCyclist certified college faculty have taught approximately 4,000 students studying to be PE teachers. Part of the grant includes asking teachers for feedback at the end of the school year about the results of using the SafeCyclist Curriculum in their classes.
Many, many thanks to the teachers who took time at a few points during a busy school year to respond to our call for feedback. Your responses will help shape the future of the SafeCyclist Curriculum and will also influence future funding for Safe Routes to School in Texas.
Based on the feedback we received, BikeTexas has determined that at least 180,876 Texas schoolchildren learned about bicycle safety during the 2012-2013 school year. We believe the precise number may be much higher. We also celebrate a growing appreciation among our Texas teachers for the SafeCyclist Curriculum in a time when concerns for our children's health are growing due to increased childhood inactivity, obesity, and diabetes. We look forward to continuing our partnerships with teachers and with the ISDs they represent to continue to reach more Texas children with the lifesaving messages of bicycle and pedestrian safety.
Some of the responses we received:
"It gives me great pleasure to be able to teach my students a bicycle safety course. We have a lot of visitors at our school, Stephens Elem., Houston, TX. They are still very impressed to see our students riding bikes at school. My students love it. I have about 25-30 bikes and this is one of the highlights of my PE program. It is an honor and makes me feel good to be able to show the video and let my students ride bikes; many do not have the chance or have bikes at home. They and I love it." Theresa Lucher – Aldine ISD
"I enjoyed teaching the 'tune your bicycle and your body' segment. I think it's important that kids realize that they will enjoy bike riding and can ride longer if their bodies are in balance, flexible, strong, and they have achieved improved endurance." Dee Darst – Irving ISD
"It gives me the chance to teach college-age students the importance of bike safety on college campuses as well as prepare them to teach their children or the classes that they might one day teach in their teaching careers." Kerri Hart – Abilene Christian University
"The actual facts of the safety course. Some of them were eye openers for our students at Villa Nueva Elementary." Florencio Torres – Brownsville ISD
"I enjoy the obstacle course. It encompasses all the safety issues with bike safety. We teach bike safety on scooters, as most of our students don't own a bike. I believe all students should know the bike safety rules and be able to adhere to them when they do get on a bike." Patricia McAlpin – Plano ISD
"We held our Bike Rodeo as an after school event for about one and a half hours and had volunteers from our Police Department and BikeIrving friends help with stations. My favorite part of actual teaching was the demonstration with 'crash' about helmet safety. Also hearing stories from the community and families at school about the new interest in and practice of riding bikes and riding them safely. I love seeing our bike racks begin to fill at school. I am excited to continue this curriculum early next year to start off the year with cyclists and walkers to school and as an improved from of transportation for our families. I would rather see a family of cyclists than a car FULL of children with no seat belts or even enough seats for everyone in the car!" Jana Neill – Irving ISD
"I enjoy the games for teaching the bike laws: Super Cyclist Turnover and the Charades game where kids act out the rules." Ellen Deaton – Humble ISD