It was once the norm for children to bike around their neighborhoods and to school. Biking provided independence for growing kids while giving them physical activity and access to social networks. In 1969, 50% of kids walked or biked to school. But by 2009, just 13% did.
We piloted our Shifting Gears program to change that. Shifting Gears works by providing second graders in Atlanta Public Schools (APS) with bicycle safety training during the school day.
During our pilot year, we reached 5% of second graders with the training. In year two, we more than doubled the number of schools, from five to nine, reaching 13% of second graders. Also in the second year, we connected our Bike Champions program with Shifting Gears, in order to expand the circle of influence of Shifting Gears beyond school walls and into surrounding communities.
As a result, parents have become strong proponents of safe streets for all. By instilling an awareness of bicycling and traffic safety at a formative age, we can improve children’s health outcomes, create a lifelong love of being active, and improve communities through cleaner environments and safer streets.
For more watch THIS video.