By Diane I. Dyer

[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

KESbikingFor the third straight year approximately 120 third-grade students at Kennebunk Elementary School (KES) are riding bicycles during October physical education classes. Students are assessed the first week of biking as they ride the 1/2 loop around the school; only then can it be determined if the class is ready for the Eastern Trail. the program started at the beginning of the month there were 10 non-riders. Currently there are only four. The program will resume in May.

Thanks to private donations and to grants from Safe Routes To School, Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition, The Education Foundation of the Kennebunks and Arundel, and Kennebunk Elementary Parent Teacher Association, the fleet now consists of 27 bicycles. the bikes were purchased from local shops.

Many volunteers make the program a success. bring their bicycles and ride at the front and middle of the pack. The school’s physical education teacher rides at the end of the fleet and has the volunteers stop at designated points so that stragglers can catch up again.

A member of the Maine Bicycle Coalition, Maureen Townsend, came to Kennebunk Elementary School last week to teach bike and helmet safety to each of the third-grade classes. , on September 21 members of the Coalition and Kennebunk Police Department sponsored a rodeo. students and their parents attended. Attendees got free helmets, a lesson in safety, rode an obstacle course, and had their bikes inspected.

As we are riding the Eastern Trail we see people of all ages walking, jogging, pushing baby carriages, exercising dogs and riding bikes. Thanks to the diligent work of the ETA, the town of Kennebunk has been blessed with this wonderful gift.

This KES program runs through the month of October and resumes in May.

[Diane Dyer is K-3 Physical Education Wellness Chair-person at Kennebunk Elementary School]

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