Statham Elementary School bikes

Kindergarteners at Statham Elementary School will learn about riding bicycles and bike safety through a national initiative and through support from Baxter’s Garage in Winder. SES physical education coach Jennifer Poole will teach the students during the eight-week program.

Kindergarteners at Statham Elementary School will learn about riding bicycles and bike safety through a national initiative and through support from Baxter’s Garage in Winder.

SES is the first school in Georgia to pilot the All Kids Bike program, which will introduce students to bikes without pedals to teach balance, confidence, safety and responsibility and then add pedals, according to a news release.

Baxter’s Garage owner Kevin Baxter raised money through his company to provide 25 Strider bikes for students, an adult bike for the program teacher and helmets. Baxter’s Garage held a “bike build” party where volunteers came together to assemble the bicycles, according to the release.

“The biggest reward of this whole thing is the child’s smile and hopefully that they’ll embrace this as something they will continue throughout life,” Baxter said.

SES physical education coach Jennifer Poole completed online courses and certification to teach the eight-week program.

“It’s an 8-week program with lesson plans that teach the kids how to ride the bikes, responsibility of taking care of the bike, and bike and helmet safety,” Poole said. “The program also promotes physical fitness activities while encouraging a love for riding bikes.”

The All Kids Bike initiative is aimed at teaching every child in America to ride a bike through kindergarten P.E. classes. The program has been provided to more than 51,000 students this year and more than 277,000 students the last five years across 296 schools in 39 states, according to the website, allkidsbike.org.

“We are so excited that we are able to be the first school in Barrow County to have the opportunity for our kids to experience such an amazing program,” Statham Elementary principal Saleithia James added.

School leaders said students signaled their approval with smiles and “screams of excitement” when they first saw the bikes.

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