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On July 16 to 18, 2006, Education Director Robin Hendershot and Education Assistant Allison Seale attended the 2006 Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD) summer conference in central Texas at the Waco Convention Center. With 500 educators in attendance, Texas Bicycle Coalition staff was able to meet and greet representatives from almost 200 independent school districts and colleges.
On Monday of the convention, Coalition staff held a live demonstration in bicycle safety with volunteers from the audience. After first putting on bicycle helmets, participants practiced using proper hand signals to indicate turning and stopping on a mini-course in the middle of the convention hall. After the volunteers had finished the courses they engaged in competing against one another in “Turtle Races.” A Turtle Race encourages the participants to use their skills of balance and patience when riding their bicycles as slowly as they can in order to finish last place instead of first.
During the last day of the TAHPERD Convention, the education director led an hour-long mini-training in bicycle safety using education materials from the Texas SuperCyclist Curriculum. The curriculum has been taught at hundreds of Texas schools over the past 15 years and provides elementary and college physical educators with the tools necessary to teach children how to navigate the roads safely on their bicycles and as pedestrians.
Waco Independent School District is looking forward to hosting a free Texas SuperCyclist training for its fourth and fifth grade elementary physical education teachers this fall. The educators will receive free copies of the Texas SuperCyclist Curriculum along with six TAHPERD continuing education credits for participating in the certification. Some of the other independent school districts whose staff expressed interest in working with Texas Bicycle Coalition include Georgetown, Longview and Grand Prairie and Lee College in Baytown.
Coalition education staff members are excited about the coming fall and future trainings. With the combined efforts of teachers and the community, we can encourage children to ride bicycles regularly which can have a positive impact on early childhood obesity, juvenile diabetes and other sedentary lifestyle-related problems.