Statham Elementary is the first school in the state of Georgia to pilot this special program. The students will be introduced to the bikes first without pedals to teach balance and confidence. Once they work through that and bike safety and responsibility, they will add pedals.
Kevin Baxter of Baxter’s Garage raised money through his company to provide 25 Strider bikes for students, an adult bike for the teacher, and helmets. Baxter’s Garage held a “bike build” party where volunteers came together to assemble the bicycles. Baxter says, “The biggest reward of this whole thing is the child’s smile and hopefully that they’ll embrace this as something they will continue throughout life.”
SES Physical Education Coach Jennifer Poole says she had to complete online courses and get certified to teach the program. “It’s an 8-week program with lesson plans that teach the kids how to ride the bikes, responsibility of taking care of the bike, and bike and helmet safety.” The program also promotes physical fitness activities while encouraging a love for riding bikes.
Statham Elementary Principal Dr. Salethia James says, “We are so excited that we are able to be the first school in Barrow County to have the opportunity for our kids to experience such an amazing program.” The students agree. They responded with smiles and screams of excitement when they first saw all of the bikes.