This semester, Burke Elementary School (Hickman Mills School District) and BikeWalkKC partnered up to deliver our first-ever 3rd grade version of the Bicycle Lesson and Safety Training (BLAST) program! Our education team drafted a four-session program specifically designed for 3rd graders, with the goal of preparing them for our full BLAST curriculum in the future.
BLAST has historically served 4th-6th graders, but we were finding that a significant portion of students did not know how to ride a bike at all, thus taking away from the amount of kids that were able to participate in our drills and skills courses. To tackle this issue, we designed our 3rd grade curriculum specifically with non-riders in mind. We added another instructor to each class who focused entirely on turning non-riders into riders. Those students who could already ride worked on enhancing specific skills that they will be using when they get older and participate in our full BLAST program, while those learning to ride spent the entirety of each class doing just that.
Out of our three participating 3rd grade classes at Burke, 5-9 students in each class were unable to ride at the beginning of our sessions. By the end of our time there, nearly 80% of non-riders had learned how to ride a bicycle. Those that were unable to fully grasp how to ride now have a baseline of knowledge on which they can build in order to become riders in the future.
BWKC would like to give a huge shout out to Burke P.E. coach, Kris Charles, and his enthusiastic students for participating in this 3rd grade pilot. They have helped us take one more step toward turning Kansas City into a healthier, more active place to live, learn, and play.
For more information on how you can bring BLAST to your school, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.