Youth Education and Encouragement Programs
Thirty years ago, more than 66% of all children walked or biked to school. Today, less than 13% of all students enjoy the many benefits associated with walking or biking to school. They don’t learn how to safely ride a bicycle. They don’t get the exercise at a time when physical education classes are being cut. The Wisconsin Bike Fed can work with you to get a program started at your kid’s school that encourages children in your community to walk or bike to school. We can point you in the right direction or come in with a turnkey program complete with instructors, bicycles, and a proven curriculum designed around your district’s learning target.
The Bike Fed has educated more than 45,000 students through our Safe Routes to School programming in communities across Wisconsin, including Madison, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Union Grove, Appleton, Sturgeon Bay, Oregon, Waterford, Marshall, Sheboygan, Brookfield, and West Allis. Safe Routes to School is a federally funded program to increase the number and safety of kids walking and biking to school through “the six E’s” of traffic safety: education, engineering, encouragement, engagement, evaluation, and equity.
Benefits of Safe Routes to School programs include:
- Increasing students’ levels of physical activity, leading to improved health
- Lowering the number of parents driving their children to school, leading to less traffic congestion around schools
- Improving air quality surrounding schools and reducing automobile emissions
- Giving children an early start in understanding traffic rules, preparing them to become responsible motorists later in life
- Helping students develop a sense of responsibility as they understand the importance of following traffic rules
How We Help
The Bike Fed is available for hire to plan or implement a Safe Routes to School program in your community or at your child’s school. Our proven curriculum meets many school districts’ required learning targets and can be tailored to your specific needs. Our Safe Routes program is a complete curriculum package. We arrive at your school with instructors, bicycles, helmets, and all other materials. Our instructors will do all pre-and post-testing as well as grade homework and provide the classroom teacher with those grades. To receive updates on Milwaukee Youth Bike Opportunities, fill out this brief Google Form.
Adventure Bike Day Camps
These are affordable summer day camp programs that are open to the public to register. They combine our Bike Driver’s Ed curriculum with additional bicycle riding and fun destinations. We host camps in Madison and Milwaukee.
Learn to Ride for young children
Need help teaching your child to ride a bike? Sign them up for a Balance & Pedal class with the Wisconsin Bike Fed’s Safe Routes Instructors. We have taught 100s of kids to ride for the first time.
Stay tuned for future dates!
FREE MATERIALS TO DOWNLOAD
These links will allow you to download files that are free to print and share with the community. If you would like some copies for an event or families please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can mail some too you for the cost of shipping.
Safe Routes to School: Curriculum
While the academic-year Safe Routes to School bike education program is 10 hours, Bike Camps are generally 24-35 hours. Bike Campers become excellent and safe bike riders while also building endurance. Daily bicycle field trips give kids a chance to master biking skills and learn about their communities. Bike Fed can contract a camp with your community recreation program or you may want to sign your child up for one of the sessions based out of our Milwaukee office. Dates are announced in March of each year for the upcoming summer. Contact us in January (or sooner!) if you’d like to contract for our staff to come to your community during the summer.
The Wisconsin Bike Fed’s curricula for our Safe Routes to School, Walking Wisdom, and Bike Driver’s Ed programs are available for download below. Any nonprofit organization or school may use the materials as long as they give credit to the Wisconsin Bike Fed. Permission is not given to for-profit organizations to use these materials without special permission. Walking Wisdom and Bicycle Driver’s Ed was produced by the Wisconsin Bike Fed with funding from Milwaukee Public Schools and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, administered through the Milwaukee Police Department. Both education programs are hands-on, involve walking or biking and include a series of homework assignments:
- Safe Routes to School Train-the-Instructor workshops
- Program planning and community outreach
- Grant writing assistance
- In-school education
- Pedestrian and bicycle crash maps and analysis
- Bicycle parking design and plans
We also have tools available to help you start your own Safe Routes to School programs.
- Walking Wisdom, a two-hour course taught over two days, which focuses on pedestrian safety. This class is open to 2nd and 3rd graders
- Bike Driver’s Ed, a 10-hour course taught over 10 days, which focuses on street bicycle safety. This class is recommended for 5th and 6th graders but can be tailored to 7th and 8th graders.
To download a free PDF of both curricula, please click here. Thanks to the Bicycle Transportation Alliance for assistance with this project.
To download past Safe Routes to School plans, click here.
To download a report detailing our Child Friendly Cities program from 2019-2023, click here.