PINEVILLE, Mo. — Kindergarteners at Pineville Primary School got to celebrate “National Kindergartener Day” in a very special way on Thursday.
The Strider Bike Program started 4-years ago and teaches kindergarteners how to ride bikes. Close to 30 kids are in the program this year and it’s part of their regular PE curriculum. The kids start off on gliders and then move on to bikes with pedals.
Their PE teacher says it helps them set and meet goals as well as to overcome challenges and fears.
“I feel like it’s important because it develops, you know, coordination, it develops balance, uh, it develops self-confidence,” said Les Shaeffer, PE Teacher.
The kids know that the first rule of riding bikes is always safety.
“Stop for other people, or that’s when you might fall,” said Avalon Hall, Kindergartener.
The program benefits kids and their families with the hope that they will ride bikes together.
“The kids really enjoy it. The benefit of something like this is it teaches the kids in a safe environment how to ride bicycles, how to watch out for other things. We live in a very, very bike-heavy area with northwest Arkansas, so, a lot of these kids go down with their parents, ride the ‘Green Way trails’ so it teaches them how to be safe, how to, watch for things around them in a safe environment to where they go into the real world, they have an opportunity to be a little bit safer on the trails,” said Shaeffer.
Once they transition from gliders to pedal-bikes, they learn what the pedals are for.
“So, I noticed that bikes, if you push this one right, and you don’t push it that way, that means you’re going front fast,” said Juliaan Cruz, Kindergartner.
“When you pedal back wards, and you stop, and those are called the breaks,” said Evie Weston, Kindergartner.
Teachers say learning how to ride bikes teaches the kids health and wellness.
“I feel like having a bike is a sense of freedom for kids, and you know, it gets them away from electronics. It gets them out in the open air, they get fresh air, vitamin-D, all those good things that they need to stay healthy. And, at the same time, I try to teach them all the things that they need to do to be healthy. And it gets them out there, it gets them involved, they see things, they experience more than just sitting at home playing on electronics,” added Shaeffer.