Children & Youth Education
The Safe Routes and Bicycling Ambassadors have a unique approach to educating children and youth. Working year-round since 2001, we directly educate young people with bicycle and pedestrian safety messaging.
During the school year, the Safe Routes Ambassadors reach out directly to public and private schools and speak to individual classrooms of 2nd, 5th, and high school students. The presentation content and activities are tailored to meet the needs of the classroom and age group. In elementary school, we also schedule a second, hands-on outdoor session to reinforce classroom learning.
Elementary Presentations: First Visit
100 elementary schools were visited during the 2014-2015 school year, reaching more than 14,000 students.
Ambassadors work with students to teach the “Lean & Peek,” where students use stationary objects to check traffic for safe crossing conditions. Students are also taught to identify tricky crossing situations, to find an appropriate walking buddy, and to check “left, right, left, behind” before crossing the street
Bicycle safety education is the focus of the fifth grade presentation, particularly visibility, predictability, and helmets. Students are taught how to select high visibility attire and equipment, as well as the value of predictable behaviors: riding in a straight line, hand signals, riding with traffic, and following the rules of the road.
Elementary Presentations: Second Visit
54 schools were visited twice during the 2014-2015 season, reaching more than 1,500 elementary students for
During a return visit to a second grade class, Ambassadors lead the students on a neighborhood walk with
three challenges to complete: Crossing at a crosswalk; crossing at an alley, using the Lean and Peek; and
crossing in the middle of the street, also using the Lean and Peek.
Ambassadors lead students in an experiment to determine the speed of cars, explaining the math used to determine miles per hour. The outdoor lesson emphasizes that students can’t control the speed of cars, but can control their own choices -being visible, predictable, and wearing a helmet.
High School Presentations
This year, the team visited 10 high schools, educating more than 1,100 new drivers.
The high school presentation is much more conversational and personal to the students’ own experiences. Ambassadors discuss all transportation options and situational examples of the best form of transportation. Ambassadors also explain the laws pertaining to pedestrians, bikes, and cars, much like the information distributed at traffic safety events.