Grade 4 teachers Nicole Ogimi and Sa’o Faulkner brought BikeEd Hawaiʻi to their students through a week long bicycle safety program which aims to teach children how to ride safely in their neighborhoods and communities. The program, open to grade 4 students across Oʻahu, is sponsored by Hawaiʻi Bicycling League. The Hawaiʻi Bicycling League receives grants from the City and County of Honolulu as well as the Department of Transportation to bring the program at no cost to schools. While students are welcome to bring in their own bicycles and helmets to participate in the program, BikeEd provides bikes, helmets and safety vests for the students to use.
Throughout the five days, the BikeEd instructors taught the Grade 4 students bike safety and how to perform a bike safety check. The students also got to hone their cycling skills and balance on a practice course set up with cones on the basketball court. For some students, it was a chance for them to start to learn how to ride a two-wheeler. A highlight for the students was getting to ride their bikes together through the neighborhood around ISLAND PACIFIC ACADEMY.
In addition to helping students learn bike safety, the program aligns well with the Blue Zones Project of Kapolei/Ewa, which IPA supports and participates in. The Blue Zones Project is a community-based well-being improvement initiative that uses scientifically proven lessons of longevity, health, and happiness to create vibrant communities and boost the well-being of their residents. Ogimi and Faulkner hope that participation in BikeEd Hawai’i might help encourage the students, and their families, to choose to ride their bikes more often (rather than always riding in a car), which contributes to an active and healthy lifestyle. The activity is also builds upon Grade 3’s “Healthy Choices” unit. The Grade 4 students had so much fun getting to ride their bikes with their friends, and they got a lot of time outside in the sun and fresh air. This is an annual program that the Grade 4 students participate in.