Monday, November 21, 2011

Graham Road Elementary School Bike Day

Kids receiving new helmets.
Several FABB members were present yesterday for the first Graham Road Elementary School Bike Day in Falls Church. This event was organized by a group of local parents including Phillip Troutman and Betsy Scoto-Lavino after they successfully won a $2000 mini-grant from Prevention Connections. They used the grant proceeds to purchase equipment including bike repair stands, tools, pumps, as well as 100 helmets to support an ongoing bike to school program.

On Sunday, over 40 students brought along their bikes and participated in various biking stations and activities at the school including:

  • A bike safety check and adjustment where they learned about the ABC-Spin Check and how to pump air and clean and lube their chain.
  • A helmet check and fitting with many receiving a new or replacement helmet.
  • An skills obstacle course complete with cones, hoops and slow biking challenge
  • A two-mile group ride through the neighborhood with instruction about safe on-street riding
  • Children were very engaged and many whole families attended and enjoyed the fun. 

Lining up for the bike ride.
The kids had fun and learned bike safety and handling skills. Currently, 90 percent of all the students walk to the school daily, the highest rating for any school in Fairfax. The school is set to relocate to a new building in the new school year which will increase the rate of busing for students.

 Graham Road ES parents plan to organize to make a Safe Routes to School application for the school in the next round of grant funding to improve walking and biking access to the new school building. Congratulations to the parents of Graham Road ES on their successful work acquiring funds and providing education and safety equipment to the students of this neighborhood.

Posted by FABB member Fionnuala Quinn.

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Thank you to Fionnuala and Doug for volunteering and for bringing the reflector bands & Spanish-language safety literature. We had 49 kids participate and distributed 44 helmets (we have 71 more to go). Thanks to Prevention Connections for that great opportunity to jump start this program. And of course, THANKS to Principal Terry Dade and our fantastic volunteers (20 of them), who organized the chaos, guided the obstacle course, fitted & adjusted helmets, wrenched bikes, pumped air, led rides, and even helped two kids shed their training wheels! Families were really excited about this event and we look forward to having more in the spring....

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