Newton's Slate Creek elementary raising funds for bike program

Chad Frey
The Kansan

Slate Creek Elementary School Seeks Donations for Kindergarten Biking Program

A new program at Slate Creek Elementary will teach students to ride a bike, along with safety rules.

Kindergartners at Slate Creek Elementary School may soon be riding bikes in their PE classes, part of a national program that targets teaching children how to ride a bike. 

All Kids Bike® is a national program on a mission to teach every child in America how to ride a bike. They are currently working to bring the All Kids Bike Kindergarten PE Program to Newton Public School USD 373.

"The program is designed to teach all Kindergarten children to ride a bike. You start with a Strider Bike (one without pedals) to teach them to balance the bike. Once they master that you add a pedal conversion kit to the bike. All bikes come with a helmet and pedal conversion kit," said James Brown, physical education teacher at Slate Creek.

The program equips schools with everything they need to teach children how to ride; teacher training and certification, a structured 8-lesson curriculum, a fleet of Strider 14x Bikes, Pedal Conversion Kits, fully-adjustable helmets, and a five-year support plan.

Brown told the Kansan there is local fundraising needed, and a website has been launched at https://support.allkidsbike.org/slate-creek-elementary

"We are tasked with raising $4000," Brown said. "The site has used up their funding for the year so they have set up a community fundraising page for Slate Creek. We would launch once we are funded and the bikes are received."

Launched in March 2018, there are already 343 schools in 42 states with All Kids Bike Kindergarten PE Programs.

 “Biking is a confidence builder and a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Our city has a bike to school program and through it’s Bike Master Plan has started installing bike lanes and designated trails," said David Becker, director of business services for USD 373." We would like to help foster all of these programs and initiatives. We want to see families out on bike rides. We want to see our children with the confidence to take on challenges and a great place to start is the challenge they face to balance a bike. We can already see the smiles on the faces of the children as they accomplish this.”

The Kindergarten PE Program is designed for children of all abilities and hopes to instill healthy habits at a young age.

“One of the best ways to get kids active is to get them excited about bicycles,” says All Kids Bike board member Ryan McFarland, “It’s a skill that is going to serve them in life.”