This blog post was submitted by our SRTS Training Coordinator Seth Schromen-Wawrin.
In mid April, our Safe Routes to School Bike and Pedestrian Safety Education Program finished the last training for our current grant. In the last 14 months, we conducted 25 trainings all over Washington State. This was possible due to the amazing talent and dedication of Eileen Hyatt and Katie Ferguson.
Eileen Hyatt has been a member of the Bike Alliance since the 1990s and is currently a board member. She lives in Spokane where she has pioneered teaching bicycle safety skills in schools in Washington State. Katie is a former Americorp intern for the Bike Alliance. She has an unfaltering enthusiasm for teaching bicycling skills.
Together, this duo faired snowy mountain passes, long lonely drives to remote sections of the state, teaching outside in sleet and the blistering sun, and came back smiling. Teachers unanimously raved about their high quality teaching and knowledge. As one teacher said, “it is so great to have this training taught by someone experienced working with students.”
Most of the participants in the trainings were physical education instructors, yet the proficiency with riding was very varied. Often participants would come back from a road ride stating that this was the first time they felt safe riding with traffic. Through the skill and dedication of Eileen and Katie, we are growing safe, confident, and comfortable bike riders all over the state.
They trained 141 physical education teachers at 27 districts in 18 counties. This first statewide class of Bike and Pedestrian Safety Education teachers will continue teaching the curriculum in the years to come. About 15,000 students will go through the curriculum every year. Fifteen thousand students from two trainers. That is an impact!