For the first time, Lawrence Public Schools is able to offer the Bicycle Lesson and Safety Training (BLAST) program to all fourth- and fifth-grade students as part of its physical education curriculum.
In four classes, students learn about proper helmet fit, rules of the road, bicycle safety checks, road hazards and how to safely navigate through an intersection. Some students learn how to ride a bike.
Reenie Stogsdill has been a PE teacher for 25 years and has never been able to teach bicycle safety until now. That’s because the school district received 60 bicycles thanks to funding from a Partnerships to Improve Community Health grant through the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and a LiveWell Lawrence Community Wellness Grant through the Douglas County Community Foundation.
“It has been awesome to have that many bikes to use,” said Stogsdill, PE teacher at Langston Hughes Elementary School. “Our bike racks are generally full now. It was never like that before we started doing this curriculum.”
Photo above: Stephen Mason, of Lawrence Parks and Recreation, shows students how to change a bicycle tire during a Bicycle Lesson and Safety Training class at Broken Arrow Elementary School in Lawrence.