As part of an exciting new physical literacy initiative, elementary students across the Delta School District now have the opportunity to learn how to ride a bike. The district has acquired two sets of 24 Strider bikes and helmets to help students develop two-wheeled balance and coordination. Schools are able to book a set of 24 bikes to have at their school for a month at a time.
“We are so excited to have two sets of bikes that can be shared across our elementary schools to give kids that might not have access to a bike at home the chance to learn the valuable life skill of riding a bike,” said Darryl Penny, Vice Principal at Gibsons Elementary, and the inspiration behind this new initiative.
Gibson Elementary is part of the Active School Travel (ASP) Pilot program, an initiative led by BC Health Communities Society (BCHC) and funded by the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. “We introduced a Walking School Bus program earlier this fall,” said Darryl Penny. “I had been researching other ways to get students more active and had heard about the Strider Bikes Learn to Ride program for students in the USA. I called them to see if they offered this in Canada and, fortunately for us, they were just setting up the program here.”
Strider Bikes have low frames and no pedals allowing kids to develop confidence in bike handling and balance. Bike riding helps children develop physically and mentally, gives them greater confidence, reduces stress and provides better focus.
“We know that being active supports lasting changes in physical, mental and social wellbeing,” said Darryl Penny. “In our two pilot schools, Gibson Elementary and Ladner Elementary, kids are having so much fun with these bikes. Also, it’s great to think that learning how to ride a bike is providing them with a different way of getting to school, which ultimately has the potential to positively impact our environment. It’s a win-win for the student and our school community!”