“WALK! BIKE! FUN!” Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Curriculum and Training Available
New resource will help educators in Minnesota teach young people lifelong skills to safely walk and bike in their communities
ST. PAUL, Minn. (April 23, 2014) –As schools gear up for Walk or Bike to School Day events on May 7, there is a new resource to help teach young people lifelong skills for walking and biking safely. The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota published “WALK! BIKE! FUN!” — a comprehensive curriculum with engaging lessons for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade. Through classroom activities and on-the-bike skills practice, instructors can teach young people how to travel safely in their communities.
This curriculum is designed specifically for Minnesota and is structured to meet Minnesota education standards. It’s available for schools, community education departments and other community organizations. The lessons start with younger elementary grades (K-3) to teach safe walking skills and then advance to safe bicycling skills in the upper elementary grades (4-6). It includes lessons to teach:
- How to safely cross the road
- Traffic laws and responsible riding
- Parts of a bike and proper attire including wearing a bike helmet
- Communicating with pedestrians and vehicle drivers
- Scanning, stopping and proper positioning on the road
“Walking and biking in their communities, including to and from school, is a great way for kids to get physical activity and create healthy, lifelong habits,” said Janelle Waldock, director of the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross. “However, many families see safety as a barrier. This training is designed to help overcome this, by providing kids the skills and confidence needed to safely incorporate walking and biking into their daily lives.”
“We want our youth to learn the skills they need to safely walk and bike in their communities. This new curriculum will help them use those skills for a lifetime as they grow up to be users of the multimodal transportation system in Minnesota,” said MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “Schools that use the new curriculum are helping to enhance health and environmental benefits in their communities.”
Throughout the month of May, staff from BikeMN who are certified League Cycling Instructors will conduct hands-on training sessions for educators who are ready to start teaching these fun and important skills.
- May 1, 8:15 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Sartell District Office, Sartell
- May 20, 8:15 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Ramsey Middle School, Minneapolis
- May 29, 8:15 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., East Ridge High School, Woodbury
To participate in a training session or to find out how you can make your community safer for kids to bike and walk contact: Michelle Breidenbach at email@example.com, (507) 430-2280.
To download a free copy of the curriculum, visit: http://bikemn.org/education/srts-education-curriculum. The “WALK! BIKE! FUN!” pedestrian and bicycle safety curriculum was developed by the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota through a federal Safe Routes to School grant provided by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and in collaboration with the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
To find out more about Bike or Walk to School Day events in Minnesota visit: http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/go/whos-biking/2014/MN
About the Minnesota Department of Transportation
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (mndot.gov) manages the fifth largest transportation system in the country. It plans, builds, operates and maintains a safe, accessible, efficient and reliable multimodal transportation system that connects people to destinations. It manages 12,000 miles of state, U.S. and interstate highways, bicycle routes, pedestrian facilities, bridges, railroad and shipping ports. It strives to make a substantial contribution to the quality of life in Minnesota.
About the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota
The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents the two million Minnesotans that ride a bike each year for fitness, recreation and transportation. They envision a Minnesota where bicycling is a safe, easy, fun and cool choice for everyone. BikeMN's mission is to provide leadership and a unified voice for bicycle education, advocacy and efforts to make Minnesota more bicycle-friendly so that more people will ride bicycles more often. BikeMN recognizes that the benefits of bicycling include healthier individuals and communities, a cleaner environment and a stronger economy.
About the Center for Prevention
The Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota delivers on Blue Cross’ long-term commitment to improve the health of all Minnesotans by tackling the leading root causes of preventable disease: tobacco use, lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating. Funded through proceeds from Blue Cross’ historic lawsuit against the tobacco industry, we collaborate with organizations statewide to increase health equity, transform communities and create a healthier state. Visit preventionminnesota.com for more information.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (bluecrossmn.com), with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota’s first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago.