May 2017, East High School Bike Club students rode all the way to City Hall to accept the Bike Month resolution from Mayor Sly James and the city council. Students then had an engagement session with City Planning staff about the new bike plan.
May 2017, Students at Green Springs elementary in Olathe learned maintenance skills and fixed up bikes that they then donated to Mission Southside, a resource center for underserved individuals in Johnson County.
With support from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and our other partners, BikeWalkKC had its busiest school year yet, including youth education programs at 26 schools across the Kansas City metro area, benefitting over 1,800 students.
BikeWalkKC’s Bicycle Lesson and Safety Training (BLAST) program had over 1,600 participants at 14 Kansas and Missouri elementary schools. In BLAST, students learn bicycle handling skills, as well as how to ride safely and predictably on city streets. These students will now see a bicycle as more than just a toy, and realize the freedom and mobility that active transportation can offer.
This spring saw the first installment of a new 3rd grade BLAST curriculum, which was a great success. In addition to safety skills training, this pilot program added a focus on instructing first-time riders. Over 75 percent of those who couldn’t ride a bike before learned how to ride for the first time! The remainder will soon follow, as many of these students will go through BLAST as 4th graders during the next school year.
BikeWalkKC instructors also led Earn-A-Bike and Youth Ambassador/Bike Club programs at a dozen schools, at which they gave away approximately 125 bikes. During these 8-10 week after-school programs, students learned basic mechanical knowledge of their bikes, rode the city streets, and were afforded an opportunity to engage with and improve their local communities. Some of the Bike Club cohorts fixed up bikes to give to those in need, while others met with city planners and civic leaders (including KCMO Mayor Sly James!) to discuss cycling and infrastructure challenges in Kansas City.
BikeWalkKC will continue expanding its reach to more and more schools in the metro, instilling confidence in young riders, and encouraging city officials to make our cities safer for active transportation and health-minded citizens.
If you would like to support BikeWalkKC’s education programs, please donate your old or out-of-use bikes or make a tax-deductible monetary contribution. BikeWalkKC is a 501c3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization whose mission is to redefine our streets as places for people to build a culture of active living. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (816) 205-7056.