Topeka physical education teachers got a winter break treat this week when Topeka Community Cycle Project (TCCP) and Topeka Public Schools invited BikeWalkKC’s education team for a refresher course in the Bicycle Lesson and Safety Training (BLAST) program.
Topeka BLAST, supported by Safe Kids Shawnee County, the Topeka Community Foundation, and Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods is celebrating its first year in Topeka Public Schools. After a training with BikeWalkKC early in 2016, elementary PE teachers in Topeka took over the course and the traveling trailer of bikes. According to TCCP, BLAST teaches kids life lessons, including how to be “safe, empathetic drivers.”
At the training on Wednesday, Karl Kraemer and Dave Hansen updated PE faculty on BikeWalkKC’s favorite methods for a productive BLAST unit. Just like in the full week-long class, participants rode the course designed to give bicyclists practice signaling, stopping, turning, and holding a straight line.
“BLAST helps kids learn not only bike safety and handling skills, but that a bike is more than just a toy. A bike means freedom of movement, especially to those too young to drive,” says Hansen.
PE teachers at Lawrence Public Schools also run their own BLAST program, while BikeWalkKC facilitates lessons in about 15 schools per year throughout the metro.