It takes a special person to achieve all that Sharon Canclini is working to achieve for children’s health and safety. Through her Community Nursing class at Texas Christian University (TCU), Sharon helps nurses learn how to identify and meet community health needs. This includes knowledge of how to teach bicycle safety to children.
Sharon is also pursuing a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grant for complete sidewalks and other walking and bicycle infrastructure for the school in her Arlington neighborhood, the Carol Holt Elementary School (EL)
Carol Holt EL is a beautiful new (2007) school surrounded by neighborhoods. Unfortunately, like too many new schools, planning and construction failed to resolve barriers that prevent children from safely walking or biking to school. There are narrow roads that drop off into ditches. Private properties and fence-lines prevent other avenues of access to the school. Children walking or bicycling are forced to navigate rough shoulders and ditches.
Sharon says this situation is complicated by truck traffic to and from a gas exploration well near the school.
Sharon called TBC to arrange a Texas SuperCyclist Teacher Certification Training on April 11, 2008 for her nursing students, as well as for teachers, public health professionals and other youth workers in the area.
Attending the training with Sharon were Jim Fleck of Imogene Gideon EL in Mansfield ISD, Camisha James-McCreadie of Beltline Intermediate in Cedar Hill ISD, Heather Williams of West EL in White Settlement ISD, Keisha Leatherman and Glenda Redeemer of the Tarrant County Public Health, Dawn Samstag of Cub Scout Pack 276 at Carol Holt EL, and from the TCU nursing program, Alesha Albert, Natalia Albright, Shannon Antinone, Kathryn Armstrong, Carolina Barrera, Sherry Bryson, Megan Connell, Avery Cowan, Margaret Dearden and Jessica Drake.
The mix gave an interesting perspective to the class, highlighting to all of us how important it is that children be active to prevent diabetes and obesity. The nursing students brought up the alarming increase of asthma in children today. Bicycling is a solution to the air pollution problem, which is a possible cause of this asthma increase.
A popular game practiced during this training was a version created and presented to the group by Susan Wagner of Texas A&M University at College Station and longtime SuperCyclist instructor. “The Seven Laws” gets the students to act out the laws using a simple physical action like charades. Each group comes up with one charade for each law and eventually after jogging, skipping and sliding around the room, everyone teaches everyone else all of the laws actions.
Our thanks, Sharon, for bringing a SuperCyclist training to the Arlington area, for your efforts toward a safe physical environment around Carol Holt EL, and for your dedicated work toward health, fitness and safety for children.
Sharon’s work addresses the “Education” and “Engineering” components of the five “E’s” of the Safe Routes to School Movement. The others are Encouragement, Enforcement and Evaluation. It takes a broad community effort through all of these components to make Safe Routes to School work for our children’s health and safety.
The Texas SuperCyclist Program is funded by a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). TxDOT also administers SRTS funding from the Federal SAFETEA-LU Transportation bill.