There is so much information available from countless experts which help underscore the benefits of bicycling. The All Kids Bike movement has the goal of teaching every child in America how to ride in kindergarten PE class. We know what you’re thinking… Bikes in school?! Yes, bikes in school! Right now the All Kids Bike Kindergarten PE Programs are running in 15 states throughout the nation and counting
We know that riding a bike is a healthy activity, and when kids master biking early in life, they tend to stick with it their whole life. This means that today’s children and tomorrow’s adults live happier, healthier lives. The statistics for the number of kids no longer riding bikes over the last ten years has been at a startling decline, so much so that it fueled Strider Bikes founder Ryan McFarland to take action. “If we can teach every kindergartner how to ride a bike, look at what it would do for our national health.” McFarland shared. “We can address so many health issues in children with this movement”
Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine Journal Archives states overweight adolescents who participate in bicycling 3 to 4 days per week are 85% more likely to become normal-weight adults. So why aren’t more kids riding? Well, the answer is simple… they don’t know how.
The best way to reach as many kids as possible is to go directly to the school system. Kids are already participating in PE classes, why not teach them to ride there? The Kindergarten PE Learn-To-Ride Program equips schools with everything educators need to successfully teach children how to ride a bike in PE class. Through this program, every student will develop a solid foundation of biking skills, whether they are a seasoned rider or have never been on a bike. The Strider Balance Bike method has been proven successful as children learn to “stride” and then “glide”. Once that skill is learned it’s onto pedaling.
When all kids bike, children become active and put down the mobile or tablet screens, their academic performance improves, they become physically healthier, and experience improved mental health. It’s not “new” news that childhood obesity is on the rise here in America, the Kindergarten PE Program, once implemented into a school system, contributes to turning that statistic around. Findings from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development birth cohort states that children who begin biking or walking to school at an early age (grade 1) are more likely to stay a healthy weight during their early school years.
And riding isn’t just something that will benefit children in their adolescence years. “Riding a bike is a lifelong skill,” Miriam Kenyon, director of health and physical education for D.C. Public Schools, told the Washington Post. “It’s a way students can get to school and it’s also a way they can exercise with their family. It promotes independence, and it’s a good way to get around.”
Here is more information about the Kindergarten PE program so you can get it started in your own school. Let’s get together to make RIDING the 4th “R” with Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic!