ST. JOHN — St. John Elementary first-through-fourth grade students brought their bikes to school for four days this fall as part of USD 350’s Bike Unit curriculum. The much-anticipated annual program included equipment inspections, repairs and bike safety, and taking rides around town to practice new skills.
“It’s a pretty neat program for the school,” said Superintendent Josh Meyer. “There were a lot of community volunteers, and we were very grateful for the help. Our students really enjoyed this.”
Trish Wade, who coaches junior and senior high school volleyball, high school track and girls basketball coach, led the program, which allows all those involved to bring their bicycles to school. Extra bicycles are on hand for any students who may not have a bike.
“We had 80-90 students ride every day,” Wade said. “One of the activities was a bike rodeo and the highlight for the kids was getting to ride their bikes around town during school hours to practice their skills.”
Wade and Meyer said seven volunteer parents and the City of St. John Police Department contributed to the success of the program.
"We couldn’t have done it without their help," Wade said.
Skills students learned and practiced were going slow and trying to maintain balance, using arm signals for turning and learning to stop using brakes, rather than shoes, Wade said.
St. John police officers completed bike inspections, including making sure that each student had a helmet.
There were no accidents or injuries reported with the four-day activity this year, just many smiles and a lot of exercise as many wheels went round and round through the city streets of St. John.