Education is one critical strategy in the comprehensive “6e” approach to making walking and bicycling safer, easier, and more fun for children. Education focuses on classes and activities that teach children (and their parents) pedestrian, bicycle and traffic safety skills, the benefits of bicycling and walking, the best routes to get to school, and the positive impacts these activities have on personal health and the environment.
There are many approaches to SRTS education, below are a few resources available in Minnesota:
Minnesota Walk! Bike! Fun! pedestrian and bicycle safety curriculum
The Walk!Bike!Fun! curriculum is a two-part curriculum designed specifically for Minnesota's schools and youth education programs. It meets Minnesota education standards and is an important part of the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School Program. Walk! Bike! Fun! helps children ages five to 13 learn traffic rules and regulations, the potential hazards to traveling, and handling skills needed to bike and walk effectively, appropriately and safely through their community.
Walk!Bike!Fun! Ambassadors Program
Walk! Bike! Fun! Ambassadors Program is a training program and educational resource specifically for community members, parents, and volunteers who want to lead and help out with walking and biking initiatives for youth in their town. This training can give participants a general overview of walking and biking activities, or dive deep into specific activities like:
- Walking school buses (groups of students and parents who walk and bicycle to school together)
- Bus stop and walk / remote drop offs (dropping students blocks away from school to avoid traffic congestion and provide an opportunity for physical activity)
- Bike trains (much like walking school buses but on bicycles)
- Bike rodeos (skills courses designed to teach students fundamental bike handling techniques in a safe, controlled environment)
- Biking and walking mapping (creating school maps that help parents and students understand recommended routes to school)
Technical Assistance for Education and Encouragement activities
Educators that have completed our Walk! Bike! Fun! Curriculum training have access to free ongoing support from MnSRTS and BikeMN. We want to help all trained educators succeed! At no cost to the recipient, we can offer:
- Access to a fleet of bicycles and helmets.
- Access to adaptive and balance bicycles.
- Help facilitating a Bike Rodeo.
- Phone coaching.
- In-person co-teaching to help implement lessons.
- Local volunteer training and recruitment.
- Future Walk! Bike! Fun! Teacher Trainings or Walk! Bike! Fun! Ambassador Trainings for non-educators.
- Presentation and public speaking about Walk! Bike! Fun! or Minnesota Safe Routes to School.
- Help accessing additional resources.
Bike fleets and Bicycle Fleet Guide
Using a bike fleet in conjunction with other Walk!Bike!Fun! tools helps ensure all students have a bicycle to ride and those bicycles are in reliable condition. However, building and managing an effective bike fleet can be a very challenging process. The Minnesota Department of Transportation and BikeMN have collaborated on a new resource, the "Bicycle Fleet Guide." This guide is a user-friendly guide for the creation, installation, and management of bicycle fleets. This resource is meant to provide individuals and organizations guidelines and overall information regarding the assembly and upkeep of a shared bike fleet of 5-50 bikes.
The bike fleet model has been successful thus far in many schools around the metro and Greater Minnesota through the Walk! Bike! Fun! curriculum, and the guide seeks to provide an invaluable resource for schools looking to obtain and or start their own bike fleet.
Download the Bicycle Fleet Guide