‘I rode a bike for the first time’: New Fort Worth ISD program teaches students how to ride bicycles

dfwnewsa | March 11, 2024 | 0 | Fort Worth , Fort Worth News

‘I rode a bike for the first time’: New Fort Worth ISD program teaches students how to ride bicycles

Kindergarteners at S.S. Dillow Elementary, ride the new bikes that were donated to the school on Feb. 29, 2024, in Fort Worth. (Hanna Landa | Fort Worth Report)
” data-image-caption=”Huxley, a kindergarten student at S.S. Dillow Elementary, tests out a new bike that was donated to the school on Feb. 29, 2024, in Fort Worth. (Hanna Landa | Fort Worth Report)
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Fort Worth City Council member Jeanette Martinez had a question for kindergarteners sitting inside S.S. Dillow Elementary’s gym.

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“How many of you know how to ride a bike?” Martinez asked.

Less than half of the class raised their hands.

A new program in Fort Worth ISD will change that. Fort Worth engineering firm HDR donated $360,000 to All Kids Bike, an initiative that teaches students how to ride a bicycle during school hours. The program just started at S.S. Dillow Elementary, the first Fort Worth ISD school to implement the program, according to a district spokesperson.

There was more to celebrate, though. HDR employees unveiled 25 new bicycles that the company donated to the school so students can learn how to ride a bike in physical education class. 

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The students were ecstatic. 

“We were just in class this morning and my teacher told everyone to line up and go to the gym because they had something really exciting for us,” 6-year-old Christopher said. “Then we came to the gym and saw our parachute, and when they took it off we saw all the bikes and got to ride them.”

HDR employees fastened helmets on students’ heads and presented each of them with a bike. 

“This is pretty cool, right?” PE teacher Amy Bailey said, as students cheered and circled the center of the gym, following her on their bikes.

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How were they riding without training? No pedals. Bailey explained to students that for the first six lessons of the program, they will learn how to walk, balance and stride. Then the bikes will convert to “pedal mode” for the remaining two lessons.

“I’m excited because I rode a bike for the first time today. I had never ridden one before. I have a scooter at home but not a bike,” 6-year-old Aviona Richardson Roche said. “Sometimes I see kids riding bikes outside and now I will be able to.” 

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More than 60 students at Dillow Elementary will learn how to ride a bike before the end of the school year, according to school officials.

HDR design principal Stephen Knowles helped assemble two bike racks in the gym along with the bikes. 

“Our company is big into mobility. We build roads, sidewalks and highways, so we want people to utilize that mobility,” Knowles said. “Since I live in this community, I have a strong interest to do more to help this community.” 

Bailey expects the lessons to be memorable. 

“Hopefully the kids who don’t know how to ride yet will remember when they’re older, and say ‘Oh, I learned how to ride a bike in Mrs. Bailey’s PE class.’ So that’s pretty cool,” she said.

Hanna Landa is a spring audience engagement fellow at the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at hanna.landa@fortworthreport.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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