Published on September 27, 2011
This is the third instalment in our series of recipes from the August 20 performance of Transit Kitchen at Evergreen Brick Works. The event was sponsored by Metrolinx, a government agency working to develop an integrated transportation system for the GTA.
Happy Healthy Kids: A recipe for cycling education in the elementary school curriculum
By Yvonne Bambrick
- Kid-sized bicycles and helmets
- Dedicated parents
- Motivated teachers
- Cycling advocates
- CAN-BIKE instructor
- Curriculum Council
- Private sector partners
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Transportation
- Ministry of Health and Long-term Care
- Ontario Medical Association
- Safe Routes to School
- Find and combine a group of dedicated parents willing to spearhead and pursue a request to include cycling into the Health and Physical Education Curriculum.
- In a meeting bowl, network with parents and teachers in order to form a coalition that sees the value in adding a bicycle–training component to the Grade 1 or 2 physical education curriculum.
- Stir the discussion until a proposal and next steps are formed.
- Measure and secure the services of a provincial cycling advocate to finesse and finalize a proposal with the coalition.
- Sprinkle the proposal to taste with the Ontario Medical Association, Safe Routes to School, Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, Ministry of Transportation, and various key staff members, until letters of support, partnership and encouragement for the proposal are achieved.
- In a separate bowl, begin to assemble and knead various private partnerships with companies such as Canadian Tire and CAA, until a kids’ bike and helmet fleet is formed.
- Assemble all combined ingredients into a meeting bowl with Curriculum Council and CAN-BIKE instructor. Dissect and review the Kids’ Bicycle Education curriculum proposal.
- Knead curriculum proposal, partnerships and letters of support in meeting bowl, then let rise in the Curriculum Council until a thumbs up is achieved, Sprinkle occasionally with a Cycling Advocate.
- Transfer curriculum proposal to Minister of Education’s baking tin, place in preheated political oven, and let idea, ingredients and relationships warm through, expand and solidify, until ideal firmness is achieved.
- Remove from oven, let cool, and serve alongside new guidelines for teachers, to serve to hungry and eager students!
- Biking to school or just for fun becomes a natural habit that can endure throughout adulthood
- Kids gain a sense of independence
- Kids learn and routinely practice a fun physical activity that can provide hours of active play
- Early education helps create better/safer cyclists and drivers through ongoing practice
Yvonne Bambrick is Coordinator of the Kensington Market and Forest Hill Village Business Improvement Areas (BIA), an Urban Cycling Consultant and Photographer.