“The best two minutes of my life, EVER!”

It’s hard to believe but we’re already near the end of the first month of 2013 when there are still so many great stories from classes we taught in schools over the last year.

Here are some of the highlights from 2012 for you to enjoy before we get too far into the new year.

Our intrepid Educators

In January:  At James John a student expressed his concerns about crossing the street, with tears in their eyes, at the beginning of a walk.  After gentle coaching from a BTA Educator and the teacher, the student made it across and enjoyed the rest of the walk.  It was a great example of confidence building, which is a step towards positive behavior change.

In February:  Observant students at Earl Boyles recognized the need to wait and see if drivers will stop for you before crossing the street. Later in Forest Park the students started thinking proactively about how to make their neighborhood safer, exemplified by one student’s comment, “What happens if the car doesn’t stop because of ice?”

In March:   Prescott students were very interested in the engineering aspect of street crossings, and Sacramento Elementary students led a discussion of the dos and don’ts of crosswalk safety. At Ventura Parks students were treated to a lesson about crossing MAX tracks safely.

In April: At Maplewood one of our students, the biggest boy in his class, had never ridden a bike before.  On his first day he had a though time and his first experience on a bicycle ended with tears. Our Educator thought he was done with the bike for good but the next day the student gave the BTA Educator a huge smile, saying he was ready to give it another shot. In no time he was pedaling around the playground. On the last day of class he shared, with excitement, how his parents were planning to buy him his very own bike.

In May:  We had lots of support from big-hearted volunteers at Humboldt, and Martina at Clever Cycles donated bicycles for a few unique needs at both Humboldt and Laurelhurst schools. Thank you Martina and everyone at Clever Cycles!

In June:  At Earl Boyles, each and every kid who learned to ride was able to join the class on the Community Ride. At Sunnyside teaching went beyond kids in class when we taught a parent how to ride! And, in possibly the most exciting moment in June, at Woodmere students were surprised and ecstatic when a squirrel fell from a tree onto a student! It was a good thing he (the student, not the squirrel) was wearing a helmet!

In September: On the Community Ride at Abernethy one student proclaimed, “this is the best field trip ever!” But it’s not just the students who like our programs; Teachers at Chapman told us they want longer bike safety classes next year!

In October:  One member of the Atkinson school staff go ahold of a used bike and gave to a student who learned to ride during our classes. At Chief Joseph, one student came into class a bit late and was caught up quickly by a teacher. After hearing the compressed version of the lesson the student boldly proclaimed, “That was the best two minutes of my life, EVER!” Although it may have been a student from Hayhurst who inspired us the most when they told us, “I don’t even want to learn to drive now!”

In November:  At Kelly the students were so excited to get on bicycles they wanted to ride in the rain!  We logged a lot of volunteer hours at Lewis, where many students who already rode to school were taught how to ride safely and legally.  At Scott, we used a bike equipped with coaster brakes to work with a student with limited dexterity. At Vestal, a big portion of students experienced the joy of learning to ride for the first time. One student Holy Redeemer summed up their feelings by telling us, “This is awesome! This is awesome! This is awesome! This is awesome! This is awesome!”

In December: At Gilbert Heights, a school in outer east Portland, the teachers and staff love the bicycle and pedestrian programs we teach. They’re grateful we teach students how to be safe while walking and biking, especially because many streets around Gilbert Heights don’t have sidewalks. Trying to explain the concept of “walking against traffic” in as few words as possible isn’t the easiest thing to do, but we do it because we believe every student deserves to know how to stay as safe as possible on their way to school.

As we say goodbye to 2012 , we also say farewell to Kathy, one of our favorite school secretaries. She is retiring from working with Gilbert Heights students and is off to do new things. Good-bye, 2012 and good-bye Katy. We will miss you!

Hello, 2013.


Comments (1)

  1. Rick Price Permalink  | Jan 24, 2013 10:02am

    Great post. Makes all the effort worth it, doesn’t it!