November 16, 2021
For more information:
Joshua Lovejoy, PR Specialist
BIRMINGHAM, AL – United Way Hands On (UWHO) recently hosted a bicycle rodeo for the students of Martha Gaskins Elementary School near the CenterPoint/Eastlake area. Concerns about child-cyclists on the streets of cities and towns around the country usually peak during the fall season. In several communities, concerned organizations banded together to conduct a one-day training session for young cyclists in the hopes of reducing accidents. A Bike Safety Rodeo was born because of this.
These programs are sometimes the only chance for parents and children to learn about the dangers of riding a bicycle on city streets and highways. Each year about 100 children are killed and 254,000 are injured as a result of bicycle-related accidents. UWHO saw an opportunity to provide young cyclists with a basic set of abilities for riding on the road.
Officers from the Birmingham Police Department held an instructional session (10 to 15 minutes) about the rules of the road and how to ride a bicycle safely. Next, volunteers from the Alabama Extension Service took the young cyclists on a ride through a miniature obstacle course set up in the school parking lot. They were shown where to apply the rules and how. The chalk course was laid out with simulated streets, intersections, crosswalks and stop signs.
The courses also taught students how to:
- Mount and disembark their bicycles.
- Change directions and turn in circles.
- Steer, weave and stop through tight places.
- Ride the bicycle slowly while keeping balance.
- How to handle tight turns.
United Way provided the students with 25–30 bikes and helmets to help the kids learn about bike safety and have fun while doing it!
UWHO’s mission is to connect people in six different counties with nearly 200 nonprofits and schools to provide organized and meaningful volunteer opportunities to improve their community.
Just in time for the holidays, the kids of Martha Gaskins Elementary School can now know the rules of the road when bicycling.
About United Way
United Way of Central Alabama serves Jefferson, Shelby, Walker, Blount, St. Clair, and Chilton counties by providing solutions for the most critical needs in the community. Through our partner agencies and community initiatives, we improve lives and community conditions by building and mobilizing resources. United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. For more information, visit uwca.org.
About Hands On
United Way’s Hands On is an Initiative that is focused on connecting people with organized and meaningful volunteer opportunities to help bring about positive social change in their community. We make it easy for you to make a difference! You can browse hundreds of Hands-On service activities in every area of interest. United Way Hands On partners with over 200 nonprofits, Birmingham Parks and Rec. and schools in six different counties. Visit unitedwayhandson.org.