All Kids Bike empowers K-2 students to learn how to ride a bike at school
Feb. 9, 2024
Zooming around the Jeffries Elementary School gymnasium, kindergartners find their balance.
Winding through taped obstacles, a hoop tunnel and passing a stop sign on a cone, students are learning how to ride a bike safely. Their individual learning goals: bike safety, balance and utilizing a brake.
“Part of riding a bike is learning how to balance your body, of course, but it’s also learning how to be resilient,” said Miranda Heffner, physical education teacher at Jeffries. “Some of my students will fall, but this is a safe place where they can learn to get back up and try again.”
Jeffries' students in kindergarten and first grade participated in All Kids Bike, an innovative program that aims to teach as many students as possible how to ride a bike, as early as possible. When students learn how to ride a bike, they build confidence and fundamental movement skills, says Brad Brummel, coordinator of physical education, health and engagement activities.
“All Kids Bike also teaches students the safety skills involved with riding a bike,” said Brummel. “This empowers students to ride safely at home.”
The All Kids Bike Kindergarten PE Program features an inclusive, proven Learn-to-Ride curriculum that offers every child the opportunity to experience the joy of two wheels. At SPS, two bike kits travel from school to school every two to three weeks. The Bike Kit features balance bikes, helmets, and bike racks built by Hillcrest High School students.
By funding a Back to School grant by the Foundation for SPS, Paragon purchased the first balance bikes for a Bike Kit in 2022. After the pilot year’s initial success, Springfield Public Schools purchased an additional set of bikes.
But every student learning to ride a bike needs a helmet. CoxHealth, Mercy, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and SAFE KIDS Springfield have partnered to donate bike helmets to allow the district’s youngest learners in PE to take a free new bike helmet home at the conclusion of their bike unit.
“More than 1,100 bike helmets have been donated by community partners in the past two years, which shows our community’s commitment to keeping students safe,” said Jessica Blake, coordinator of community relations. “Riding a bike is a lifetime skill, and learning to ride a bike safely is so important. We’re grateful for the resources donated to ensure our students have a safe ride at school and at home.”