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IJGH Bike Giveaway 2021

Source: Reagan Elam / Reagan Elam

Bike Durham and the Durham Public Schools are onto something: riding a bicycle is a fun way to learn. It builds confidence, promotes critical thinking and responsibility, and as a bonus, uses Mother Nature as its classroom. The partnership between the two entities began in 2021 after the Bike Durham Board entered into a contract with the City for their Safe Routes to School program and began a pilot program at Merrick-Moore Elementary School.

Through a generous donation, Bike Durham also initiated a balance bike program, called All Kids Bike, geared toward kindergarteners, designed to introduce them to a bike without pedals to promote balance before riding.

The bike riding safety program, taught during Physical Education classes, uses bicycle safety educators and volunteers to teach a four-session class that culminates with a community event. At the event, students show the skills they’ve learned, and others can come to learn safe bike riding skills.

This Saturday, December 10 from noon until 2 p.m., DPS and Bike Durham will host a culminating event to celebrate the end of bike safety class for Eastway. The event will be held on the Eastway campus. It will feature bike activities for students of all grades, a helmet giveaway, and a guided walking tour of the Holton Healthy Mile Trail. Bike Durham will have a number of balance bikes, for young students. Balance bikes are bikes without pedals used to teach youth how to balance before pedaling. Bike Durham will serve pizza and cookies from Ninth Street Bakery at the end of the event.

This Fall, Bike Durham has worked with six DPS schools to teach bicycle safety at E.K. Powe, Merrick-Moore, Pearsontown, W.G. Pearson, Fayetteville, and Eastway elementary schools. Bike Durham will bring the curriculum to an additional six schools in the Spring.

Jacopo Montobbio, the Education Program Manager with Bike Durham, works with teachers and students to build the young people’s confidence in riding bikes, promote the concept of walking, biking, and rolling to school, and utilize outdoor learning.  “Learning how to ride a bike confidently and without giving up is good for the kids.  They are so enthusiastic.  They love being outside and on bikes.” he said.

Karen Clark Photo Foxy NC 2022 R1 Raleigh

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