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DCPS second graders steer their way to success in bike riding program

DC public schools teach second graders how to ride a bike (ABC7)

Second graders in D.C. Public Schools are going places.

"If you don't feel like walking and don't know how to drive yet, you can just ride your bike," explained Dylan Perkins an 8-year-old student at West Education Campus in Northwest.

For the first time, students are being tasked with learning how to ride a bike.

The idea was birthed when education leaders realized they were teaching bike safety to students who didn't even know how to ride. Miriam Kenyon, Director of Health and Physical Education at DCPS came up with the plan to create a program called Biking in the Park.

"All second graders learn how to ride a bike, bike safety, and then they culminate their learning with a ride to a park," she shared.

It is now part of the curriculum at all D.C. Public Schools. This year alone, more than 2,000 students have learned a skill that in some urban neighborhoods goes untaught.

The D.C. Department of Transportation and private donors provided the 950 bikes that are rotated between schools.

The program is teaching students a new version of their ABCs.

West Education Physical Education Teacher Carlington Harvey advised, "A for air pressure. Make sure it's a safe ride. B which is braking and make sure the chain is not rusted."

For many, braking is the biggest challenge. 8-year-old Jasmine Anani expressed, "It's kind of hard because I use my feet to stop not the handbrakes."

The cyclists in training are learning a little bit of practice can take you a long way.

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