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Hands-On Biking Lessons Taught at Farnsworth

Farnsworth Middle School has taken bike safety to the road, bringing their sixth graders outdoors to practice road safety.

This is the first year the students were offered the program, which is entitled School Bike Driver's Education. Consisting of nine classes, the program culminated with a bike ride through Farnsworth neighborhood streets as students demonstrated the skills they learned.

"During the bike safety class I learned how to put a chain on when it falls off and to check to see if your bike is safe for you to ride, which is most important because then you won't get hurt. I love biking," said Heather.

On their trip around the neighborhood students practiced hand signals and motor vehicle awareness. Because of the limited number of bikes available, students were given a choice between rollerblading and biking.

"We hope to expand the program to a greater number of students next year," said Farnsworth Middle School teacher Judy Rammer. "The instructor did an outstanding job. Bikes were provided and each student was given a helmet to use and keep after the completion of the lessons. We were very appreciative of the opportunity to enhance our present curriculum with lessons that promote a healthier, more active lifestyle."

Shea Schachameyer, employed by the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin and a League of American Bicyclists Certified instructor, led the program.

"Sixth graders have been targeted because they are at an appropriate age to, at times, bike in the road, not just on the sidewalk, and should be taught the skills and traffic laws to safely do so," said Schachameyer.

The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin staff has taught more than 4,000 students throughout Wisconsin the Bike Drivers Ed curriculum through the Safe Routes to Schools. More information on the services provided by the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin is available on their website.

"During the bike safety class I learned how to use hand signals which is important because drivers need to know where you are going. I liked the class because I like to bike," said one student.

The bike education was part of a larger contract to implement a Safe Routes to School program in Sheboygan County. As part of the program, over the summer Safe Route to School Action Plans were created for each public elementary and middle school in the county. The Action Plans can be seen at the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin website or Sheboygan County's website.

Sheboygan Area School District Press Release
October 30, 2008