Coffee Talk - Learn to Drive your bike vs. Learning Cursive writing

Today's coffee talk looks at the importance of children learning how to drive a bike. Coffee talk discussion gives me the chance to rank and you a chance to fire back with your 2 or 4 cents.

So how has cursive writing improved your quality of life? Has this skill made you healthier, live longer, give you more energy? What about cycling, it's probably has given you more energy and made you healthier and chances are if you use this resource correctly you might even live longer. Are you agreeing with me so far? Every year elementary children learn cursive writing spending hours learning how to make each letter correctly and with their pencil (no quail pens, the reason cursive was used). Yet very few schools spend the time teaching their kids the life skill of how to drive a bike.

Boulder Valley School district does just that with their BLAST Program. Teaching the children how to drive their bikes is a life skill that can lead to healthy transportation options and doing it safely.

Everyone reading this was probably taught how to write cursive writing but very few of us ever learned how to drive our bikes and no place is this more apparent then if you visit any college campus as you witness cyclists really unaware of how to operate a bicycle safely. For me it wasn't until about a little over 5 years ago I learned this concept yet I had been cycling for over a decade before that. Sure they know who to ride the bike, they have the whole balance thing down along with shifting gears but knowing how to ride a bike in traffic is foreign and scary.

So maybe it is time we take school resources and dedicate them towards healthily life skills. What do you think, Is learning to drive a bike more important than cursive writing?

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24 Comments

It's a bit elitist to say we

It's a bit elitist to say we need to teach kids to drive bikes when many kids have no bikes and lack proper clothing and adequate food. In Boulder schools, 19% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch; in Longmont, it's 32% and state-wide it's 40% (http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/bystate/Rankings.aspx?state=CO&ind=469). If people want to donate private funds to support a DRIVE program, that's awesome, but let's use public funds to teach kids the basics they need (like reading and writing which does mean cursive, or at least printing) and give them enough to eat so they can actually concentrate in the classroom.

Interesting numbers. I

Interesting numbers. I wonder how many of these kids who "qualify" for reduced lunches have cable at home, parents have an iphone, etc. I know of a Longmont resident who was on reduced lunches and the parent was driving a BMW. If the "family" truly needs it then great, but I don't appreciate my tax $$'s subsidizing cable TV for someone else.

its pretty simple actually

If you are having trouble feeding your kid - sell the new luxury car and a reliable economy car; cut out all expenses that are luxuries rather than necessities. Our society has a horrible mis-perception that cable TV, new cars, etc are rights and actually needed. Our priorities as a society are completely out of whack.

turn off the tv

turn off fox news and come visit some of my students in their trailer park. I guarantee what they feel is a "luxury" would scare your middle class upbringing to the core. Most are living w/ a relative that cares very little about them.

I also invite you to try to live off of this "free" delicious food for one day, I guarantee it would change your life.

Qualifying for Reduced Lunches

Qualifying for reduced lunches & similar programs is generally determined at the Federal level. The qualifying income is determined as a percentage of the median or mean income of the County. When my wife & I first relocated to the Bubble, we were *barely* above the Federal poverty line, and that was two adults, working FT, without kids. So it's not inconceivable that someone could drive a Beemer and still have kids qualifying for reduced lunches. And it's not subsidizing cable TV, it's subsidizing lower-cost lunches.

To touch on the greater issue, the number of children living in poverty in Colorado has increased over the past few years. In part at least, this is due to the growing popularity of fiscal austerity measures, including TABOR. How do people think education and kids WON'T suffer under such a program?

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