TCBC Bike University Program: Minneapolis Public Schools Bike Education Program – Jenny Bordon, Active Living Coordinator for the Minneapolis Public Schools & Martha Grimes, Bicycling Instructor, and Physical Education Teacher at the Lyndale Community School – Thursday, March 16, 2023, at 07:00 pm
A former high school language arts teacher, Jenny Bordon has been the Active Living Coordinator in Minneapolis Public Schools since 2011, leading Safe Routes to School efforts and launching innovative bicycle and walk programs in the district. She feels privileged to work every day with star staff and star partners at the intersection of youth and active transportation, and believes the small steps of children can change the world.
Martha Grimes has been in the Minneapolis Public School district for over 20 years. Since 2015, she has taught physical education at Lyndale Community School in south Minneapolis. A League Cycling Instructor, Ms. Grimes has implemented bike education with her Lyndale students and served on the advisory committee for the statewide safety curriculum, Walk! Bike! Fun! She earned a B.S. in physical education from Bowling Green State University, a master’s in developmental adapted physical education (DAPE) from the University of Minnesota, and a health license from Bethel University. She also has a total of 23 years of service between the Army Reserves in Ohio and the Air Force Reserves in Minnesota. Furthermore, she has a strong passion for physical education and emphasizes fitness, physical and social development, and fun in her teaching.
Come to this session of TCBC Bike U to hear an overview of bicycle education in the Minneapolis Public Schools, where there is a goal of bike education for every fourth and fifth-grade student during the school day. Find out how well they are doing on that goal.
There will also be a discussion of volunteer opportunities within the Bike Education Program. MPS teachers lead the students in bike education, but they need support. Hear firsthand why bike education matters and how TCBC volunteers can help.
After Program Information:
The Council of Regents chair, Edward Eroe, started out the evening by introducing our newest Bike U regent, Dan Miller, and the topic for the evening, learning about Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) bike education program and volunteer opportunities for TCBC club members.
Dan brought the idea of having representatives from the MPS come and talk with us, so he spoke next. He gave a bit of a history lesson, taking us back to 2005 when he had heard former long time U.S. Representative Jim Oberstar from northeast Minnesota speak in Duluth about his dream to create a program to get children safely walking and biking to school. The program, which continues to this day, is called Safe Routes to School. Thanks to Representative Oberstar the program was awarded $612 million dollars that year to launch the program which included educational and infrastructure programs and Safe Routes to Schools coordinators in all 50 states. Today’s MPS Bike Education Program is the part of that same initiative.
Dan introduced two key contributors to the program in Minneapolis, who were the speakers tonight. Jenny Bordon is the district’s Active Living Coordinator, and Martha (Marty) Grimes is a Bicycling Instructor and Physical Education Teacher at Lyndale Community School. Both were incredibly enthusiastic and joyful about how much the students love the bike program in Minneapolis schools. Jenny explained the history of how MPS started with its first small fleet of 12 bikes in 2012 and gradually worked its way up to four fleets of 40–45 bikes (including adaptive bikes) that travel from school to school for two week stints. Several schools also own their own fleets of bikes, and a number of teachers have completed League Cycling Instructor (LCI) training. All 4th and 5th graders in the district receive training.
Marty explained the importance of volunteers to the program. Volunteers are caring adults that just help out. She noted that they could not run the program without volunteers. Many of the students are new to the country and are thrilled to learn how to ride on site as well as on bike paths. Volunteers build relationships with students and teachers and share their joy of biking. Lots of memories are created as the students learn to bike and get places on their bikes.
There are a number of different volunteer opportunities available. Volunteers can connect with a school and volunteer one or several times, or for an entire two-week period as the curriculum is delivered. Volunteers are also needed who can assist with bike maintenance (the district only gets $500 per year for maintenance, so volunteers are very important). Volunteers can also participate in the district’s two big rides, one will be on May 3rd and the other on June 1st this year. For more information, feel free to contact any Bike U Board of Regents member. Additionally, there is a form where you can volunteer for the Bike Education program. See below in the website links.
Several websites were mentioned, the links are here:
Volunteer for Bike Education at MPS – https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScTf96u-zgGFT6EPb0Lk4h-gBKJAVa64kdrP59FwMbDWHnAnQ/viewform
Volunteer in MPS Safe Routes to School – https://cws.mpls.k12.mn.us/srtsvolunteer
Let’s Roll MPS: Wednesday, May 3, 2023 – https://cws.mpls.k12.mn.us/let_s_roll_mps
The Whole Carrot Newsletter of – https://cws.mpls.k12.mn.us/wellness
Jennifer Bordon – Jennifer.Bordon@mpls.k12.mn.us
Martha Grimes – Marty.Grimes@mpls.k12.mn.us
Please follow the link below to the Zoom recording of the session on the TCBC YouTube Channel: