The Kindergarten class at Columbine Elementary will begin learning to ride bicycles after the new year. On Tuesday, the school received 24 Strider bicycles and helmets to launch the program.
Bart Thurman, P.E. teacher at Columbine, applied to receive Strider bikes for his Kindergarten classes. Thurman has been a lifelong bike rider and wanted to share the experience with children.
In his P.E. classes, he teaches children the value of taking care of their bodies and living a healthy life from a young age by getting outside, doing things they love to get exercise and by eating healthy foods.
The Strider bikes were donated through a partnership between Yamaha Motor Corp, USA and Tri City Cycle, a Yamaha dealer. The donation is part of the All Kids Bike Learn-To-Ride Kindergarten PE Program which is designed to teach young students how to ride a bike in their P.E. programs at school.
The program provides an 8-week curriculum for students to learn to ride, beginning with learning to balance on a Strider bike. Throughout the program, the students can learn to ride a bike with pedals. According to Thurman, the course is designed to take place indoors and outdoors. Thurman said he will try to get the kids outside as much as he possibly can.
On Tuesday, around 30 Kindergarten students created a semi-circle around a parachute that covered the bikes. Despite the adults’ best efforts, the students called out their guesses that bicycles were the surprise.
As the adults peeled away the parachute the children cheered and struggled to remain seated and contain their excitement. The students were asked to form two lines and as the owners of Tri City Cycle and teachers helped them size helmets. One by one, students were given a bicycle and encouraged to follow Thurman — who had an adult-sized Strider bike, also donated on Tuesday.
Once all the bikes were taken, the students played a giant game of follow-the-leader around and around the gym, learning how to propel their bikes and most importantly to stop them before running into their classmates.
“We want the children to be able to have the confidence to ride and know that they can do hard things. We would love for them to be able to grow up outside, playing more, being more active and involved in their community,” Rachelle Bean, marketing and media manager at Tri City Cycle said.