By Maggie Priesmeyer, Education Program Manager
Bikes are rolling into Kansas City elementary schools this week! Monday marked the first round of BLAST: Kids on Bikes classes of the season, starting at Johnson Elementary in the Hickman Mills School District. Johnson Elementary holds a special place in my heart, as it was one of the two very first schools to receive BLAST back in 2012 when the program started. This is the third year that Johnson has participated and it’s encouraging to see the positive change that’s occurred within the school environment. Younger students ask about and look forward to the bike program. Teachers, parents and staff recognize BikeWalkKC and what we are trying to do to enrich their students’ lives. And most importantly, there are bikes in the bike rack out front of school!
In addition to affecting the school community and student health at Johnson, BikeWalkKC is making this happen at elementary schools and districts all across the metro. Since the beginning of BLAST, we have gone from two schools to twelve. We have grown from three part-time instructors to ten instructors, and from one bike fleet to three. A huge THANK YOU to the BLAST instructors, the dozens of schools and districts, Children’s Mercy Hospital, volunteers, the parents and the thousands of students for making it possible to increase our capacity and teach so many Kansas City youth bicycle safety lessons and the importance of biking for health, the environment and transportation.
We have a busy year ahead! Look for us this semester in the North Kansas City, Hickman Mills, Kansas City Kansas, and Kansas City Public school districts.