Houston-area residents know Kingwood as a large, 14,000 acre master planned community of 65,000 residents located about 23 miles north of Downtown Houston in the East Texas Piney Woods. The community has a greenbelt system of 75+ miles of interconnected hike and bike trails running through the Piney Woods and lakes.
SuperCyclist-certified Deerfield Elementary School P.E. teacher Ellen Deaton wanted to help Kingwood children use this tremendous resource, and surrounding streets, safely. So on March 5, 2010 she, along with six officers from the Houston Police Department and Kingwood Bicycle Patrol, held a rodeo for about 440 Deerwood Elementary students from grades 1-4.
Ms. Deaton, certified in the Texas SuperCyclist Curriculum by BikeTexas staff in June 2009, prepped her students beforehand by running the youngsters through the “Seven Texas Laws” exercises that she learned and practiced at the SuperCyclist training.
For the bike rodeo start-off, officers checked the kids’ bikes, aired up tires and adjusted helmets. After the safety check, the students rode a safety course set up by the officers where they could practice their hand signals and safe-riding skills. The students without bikes rode scooters on the course. To get their hearts pumping, the students also got to ride around the running track.
The police officers showed a safety movie and gave a presentation on the importance of wearing a helmet. All the students received the “A-Z by Bike” booklet from BikeTexas to take home and share with their parents and siblings. They also all earned a “license” for completing the bicycle safety course.
Working together with community partners is an important aspect of the BikeTexas ParentsPlus Program. Ms. Deaton reached out into her community to provide an enriched learning experience for her students.