Quindaro Elementary takes off with a BLAST and shows no sign of slowing down

By Amelia Kovac

In bicycling, each push of the pedal takes you in the right direction of improving your life. The number of benefits with bicycling is tremendous, improving a vast amount of areas from mental and physical benefits to environmental, social and financial benefits.

My name is Amelia Kovac and I am the Physical Education teacher at Quindaro Elementary in Kansas City, Kansas. We invited BikeWalkKC's BLAST (Bicycle Lesson and Safety Training) to our school for 4 weeks in the 2022 spring semester. BLAST gave students the knowledge and tools to practice bicycle safety hands-on.  This program not only teaches the fundamentals and safety tips of bike riding but benefits students in a number of other ways, too.  Kids feel more energetic and positive, increasing self-esteem, blood flow, endorphins, bone density, serotonin, muscle strength, inclusiveness with diverse peers, and so much more.

After seeing the many successes of my 3rd-5th graders in the BLAST program, my desire for bicycle education grew stronger. I dreamed of being able to teach even younger kids how to ride and do so safely. The next day I was getting my principal’s permission to sign our school up for the All Kids Bike fundraiser. All Kids Bike could help me build a bicycle education program (complete with our own fleet of balance bikes!) and get Quindaro students riding as early as kindergarten.

With the help of many generous donors (including BikeWalkKC members!), we reached our fundraising goal this month! Quindaro Elementary will now own 24 balance bikes with pedal conversion kits and helmets, and our youngest students will begin receiving the many benefits of biking during their physical education class!

No matter what their “next” might be - whether it is heading back into the classroom, the community or the world, everyone has a universal desire to succeed.  Bicycle education takes that desire and turns it into a reality with learning how to ride a bike successfully and safely.  With the number of benefits from cycling, bicycle education needs to be in every school.

BikeWalkKC's work in Kansas City, KS and Wyandotte County is supported by the H&R Block Foundation, the Marion and Henry Bloch Foundation, and BikeWalkKC members. Thank you!

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