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New Life Bikes for Irvington Schools

From locations around the state of New Jersey there is a group of organizations working together to help put a new bicycle safety curriculum into the Irvington Public Schools.  The New Jersey Association of Health, Physical Education Recreation and Dance (NJAHPERD) has been working together with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) at Rutgers State University of New Jersey and Kerri Martin, owner of Second Life Bikes located in Asbury Park, NJ to energize the bicycle safety curriculum in the Irvington schools.

Let’s look at how these organization collaborated to make this project come together for this fourth and fifth grade physical education curriculum.

The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Centeris a leader in Safe Routes to School and developed the NJ Bike School curriculum. NJ Bike School curriculum is based on Bikeology which was produced by SHAPE America and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  VTCs in-kind staff time and technical assistance to schools will include training teachers to effectively implement the curriculum in a variety of settings, working to update policies relating to improving and promoting physical activity through bike and pedestrian education, and providing evaluation on the effectiveness of these efforts.

Second Life Bikes is located in Asbury Park, NJ.  Second Life Bikes aims to provide the surrounding communities with the opportunity to purchase a mechanically refurbished bicycle at a reasonable cost, to buy parts and accessories, and to have their own bicycles repaired. Kerri Martin, owner of Second Life Bike will be a vital person who will purchase the fleet of bikes that will be shared with the Irvington Public Schools.  Repair and maintenance of the fleet will be completed by Second Life Bike Shop.

NJAHPERD discovered and wrote a grant proposal for the NewJersey Healthy Communities- CommunityGrantsProgram and was awarded a two-year grant to put a bike program in the Irvington Public Schools for fourth and fifth grade physical education classes throughout the year. The fleet of bikes will be stored at the NJAHPERD facility and will be transported to the Irvington schools. During the summer the fleet will be checked and serviced.

The Irvington Public Schools has partnered with the YMCA Healthy U program to bring improved nutrition and physical activity programs to their students, staff, and families. This partnership helps lay the foundation toward implementing successful wellness programs throughout the school district. The Walk your Parent to Breakfast program will build upon these efforts by helping to engage parents with the already successful breakfast in the classroom program. The NJ Bike School curriculumwill be introduced which will train teachers about organizing lessons plans and teaching bicycle skills to their students. It is hopeful that this program could be a catalyst towards gathering data and creating reports that lead to needed pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements through state and federal funding.

About the Grantee

New Jersey Association for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance (NJAHPERD)

NJAHPERD is dedicated to advancing quality health education, physical education, recreation, dance education, and athletics through professional development, programming, advocacy, and collegial exchange. The Association promotes responsibility and development of healthy active lifestyles for New Jersey’s students, educators and community members.