PE programs for bicycling in Virginia are health education programs devised by official bodies and other groups that are either an adjunct to the school's physical education curriculum or are community programs for Virginia citizens. Partly arising out of a need to protect younger riders, the main PE program for bicycling in Virginia also emphasizes road safety and lifelong wellness.
Bike Smart Virginia Schools
The Virginia Department of Health is collaborating with the state's Department of Education and Department of Motor Vehicles and Bike Walk Virginia in the Bike Smart Virginia Schools project. The project claims that four-fifths of childhood deaths when cycling are the fault of the rider. Bike Smart Virginia Schools advances the bicycle safety agenda through its Bike Smart Basics Training program. As of June 2011, the program is part of the health and PE curriculums of 20 school districts.
Bike Smart Basics Training
Bike Smart Basics is a 12-hour training program run over two consecutive days and suitable for elementary-, middle- and high-school students. The program covers bike maintenance, including inflating tires and keeping the chain well-oiled. However, the main purpose is to teach safe cycling techniques through educating young riders about the potential dangers of other road users. The favored setting is a two-site location such as a school with outdoor space for cycling and a classroom for the all-important lectures.
Virginia Healthy Pathways Coalition
Virginia Healthy Pathways Coalition (VHPC) has produced a pack of resource materials in support of PE programs, including bicycling. The pack includes details of Virginia's Safe Routes to School program, which is a bike/walk scheme designed to encourage travel linked with physical exercise. Parents are advised to allow their kids to take part in physical exercise by cycling or walking to and from school rather than taking the bus or going by car. VHPC also encourages Virginia residents and visitors to explore the state's expanding network of bike and walking trails and, thus, engage in more physical exercise themselves.
New PE Initiatives
The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of Virginia's Twin Hickory Elementary School has launched its own PE program for bicycling in Virgina. Implicit in its planning is the recognition that cycling provides a great physical workout while getting a person from point A to B. Umbrella legislation promoting cycling as an example of physical exercise that contributes to a healthy lifestyle includes the federal Local Wellness Policy and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act.
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