In April, 2008, BikeTexas trained several Arlington teachers and 10 students from the Community Nursing class at Texas Christian University. The instructor of the nursing class, Sharon Canclini, was instrumental in bringing the training to Arlington and also participated herself. Sharon knew that one of the steps to obtaining Safe Routes to School funding was for the schools to teach bicycle safety, so she set out to get those funds for Arlington schoolchildren.
Sharon worked hard, and it paid off. She was successful in including new sidewalks and other infrastructure improvements in a $4.5 million bond package that was passed by Arlington voters in November 2008. The city of Arlington added an additional $4.5 million, and now is drafting a proposal to bring in an additional $2 million in federal Safe Routes to School funds to three schools.
Thanks to people like Sharon, the children of Arlington will have a better future. Walking and biking to school decreases ailments like childhood obesity and asthma. Sharon saw the importance of urban children being able to do something as simple as being able to walk or bicycle safely to their school, and she did something about it.
Pictured: On March 9, 2009, SuperCyclist-trained nursing students conducted a bicycle safety day at Holt Elementary in Arlington. This was preceded by a month of bicycle safety bulletin boards made by the TCU nursing students. The bicycle safety hour was packed with the games and lessons learned from the Bike Texas SuperCyclist Program. The use of “virtual handlebars”, a BikeTexas SuperCyclist favorite, enabled students to practice signaling and scanning. This allows teachers to teach many important bicycle safety lessons and not having bicycles for the students is no longer an obstacle.