Granton FFA members teach kids about safe bicycling habits
To teach elementary students about bike safety, the Granton FFA held a bike rodeo on Oct. 2 for students from second to fourth grade. After learning hand signals and how to safely ride on roadways, the students should now be ready to use their bikes safely and responsibly when traveling on local roads.
The event held for the 40 kids in the three elementary grades had originally been planned for earlier this spring, said Granton FFA advisor Katie Reider, but was delayed when schools were shut down. Last year, she said the FFA had decided to try to do more outreach to the school’s elementary students, and since many elementary kids bike around town, a bike rodeo was a perfect choice for an event.
“Last year’s officer team wanted to improve our chapter activities by including more elementary outreach and teaching safety,” she said. “We did the farm safety coloring contest last year for the elementary and also wanted to host a bike safety rodeo because so many children ride their bikes around town, but do not know road safety and/or don’t have a helmet … We had initially wanted to do this back in April, but school going virtual made us push things to the fall.”
Although the event was delayed, Reider said it didn’t affect the FFA member’s enthusiasm. Many of the members, she said, recalled holding bike rodeos when they were in elementary school and worked hard to bring a beloved childhood experience back for the next generation of kids to enjoy.
“The high school students remember doing the bike safety day when they were in elementary school and Security Health Plan hosted the event,” she said. “The FFA members wanted to offer a similar experience for our own students. Lizzy Reinart, our FFA treasurer, helped to arrange the classroom instruction part of the event. Some of the FFA members brought in bikes for us to borrow. We had two FFA members deliver the instruction in the classroom and another 10 FFA members helping with the outdoor portion.”
For their bike safety training, the elementary students were given instruction in the classroom about where and when to ride a bike, hand signals and clothing to wear while bike riding. After the classroom instruction, Reider said the students were asked questions on what they had just learned and were asked to then practice it on the bike course.
“Each class received 15 minutes of classroom instruction about safety and then spent 30 minutes outside being fitted for a helmet and completing the course,” she said. “On the course students had to stop at a stop sign, yield, turn, and pedal back to the start.”
As part of the event, Reider said each student was given their own bike helmet that was properly fitted at the start of the outdoor portion of the test, and was theirs to keep after the rodeo was over. The helmets were received by the FFA last spring through grant money from Security Health Plan and through their own organization funds.
“Last spring we applied and were awarded grant money from Security Health Plan to go towards helmets for the event,” she said. “The FFA chipped in the rest of the funds to order enough helmets for every student.”
CHEYENNE THOMAS/ STAFF PHOTOS