CAVENDISH, Vt. – Students of Cavendish Town Elementary School were given the opportunity May 30 and 31 to learn about bike safety and skills in riding bicycles. The seven-year-old Kids Bike Smart program sent bicycles to the school through a grant made available by Kohl’s Department Stores, which was awarded to the Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Center. The program was brought to the area through Local Motion, an advocacy group who shares in the goal of providing safe walking and biking for surrounding areas.
The program sends a trailer full of bikes and helmets, as well as cones and marking chalk to schools that apply and are awarded the loan. Measuring 20 feet long and 10 feet tall, the trailer comes equipped with all the materials needed to teach students valuable skills presented through Local Motion’s curriculum. While most of the provided bicycles had hand breaks, others were without pedals, which allowed the children to practice balance without the added worry of learning to pedal.
Christine Landon, physical education teacher at CTES, stressed the importance of the program. “It teaches them independence and valuable skills, as well as healthy habits,” she commented.
Students were educated how to ride bikes safely and on public roads, as well as the ABC’s of biking, which is checking air, breaks, and chains before riding. “Some of these kids have never been on a bike,” Landon added.
After learning about safety on Wednesday, Christine Landon and volunteers took the students on a bike ride through Proctorsville Village to Greven Field. Putting their newly acquired skills to the test, the second through fifth grade classes were able to practice riding on uneven terrain as well as local roads. Despite varying abilities, their enthusiasm and excitement was made visible.