Boulder Valley School District has a very progressive bike education program for 5th graders called Blast. I stopped by Heatherwood Elementary last year and spoke to Landon Hilliard, and Anne Samplonius (pro cyclist) about the program. I also watched the excitement of the kids in participating in this program. Last week Dan Adams with the Blast program told us what Blast is about
The BLAST program is based on the principle that vehicular cycling is an essential life skill and we are doing our children a disservice by failing to appropriately training them in it. Our goal is to have a comprehensive curriculum of bicycle ridership and safety that equips students to ride confidently and competently as a way to get around that becomes accepted as a standard part of the PE curriculum in the BVSD and is therefore offered to every student who passes through the system. To achieve that level of education requires approximately 11 classroom hours. We currently are teaching an abbreviated curriculum that focuses on introducing the basics of vehicular cycling and drilling a few essential confidence building skills that improve safety dramatically. Our program has been growing so we are now working with about 600 students at 6 different schools across the district. We have a few efficacy metrics like a quiz we give before and after to each student that shows uniform improvement. We would like to be able to look more long term to see how students are implementing techniques we've taught and if we are actually increasing the amount the students are riding. Our program is still a work in progress but so far the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Parents, PE teachers and the students alike request that we come back for more because they had so much fun and valued the program. This bodes well for us as we continue to hone our product, improve our operations and grow our scope.
The Blast program is also supported by GoBoulder's Bike Ambassadors, Brennan and Elana. They help with the kids and their bikes and present to other grades in the classroom to speak of bike safety and usage.
Boulder Bike Ambassadors Brennan and Elana.