By Julie Salathé
Cascade Bicycle Club’s Basics of Bicycling program in elementary schools served more than 14,000 third- to fifth-grade students to four Seattle-area school districts during the 2010-11 school year, including a new program in the Edmonds School District. The Edmonds program is starting its second year with additional funding from several different sources.
The South Snohomish County Commission for Health (Public Health District No. 2) has awarded Cascade $53,000 to develop and add an advanced Basics of Bicycling for sixth- to eighth-grade students. The third- to fifth-grade basics program provides a solid foundation for children in basic bicycle skills, but students need more practice in understanding traffic laws and situations in order to become confident and skilled bicyclists. The sixth to eighth-grade program will provide the needed continuity to work on building lifetime skills for children.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has awarded a federal Safe Routes to School grant to the city of Mountlake Terrace, which includes $34,200 over two years to extend the Basics of Bicycling to all the elementary schools in the Edmonds district, and provides the city of Mountlake Terrace with additional funds for engineering improvements and enforcement of traffic laws around schools.
In addition, Swedish/Edmonds Hospital has generously contributed a $10,000 sponsorship towards the Edmonds Basics program for 2011-12. Group Health will continue its longstanding sponsorship of Basics in all four school districts — Edmonds, Highline, Seattle and Lake Washington — with a $22,000 sponsorship for 2012.