By Phil Sarnoff — The Youth Bicycle Education and Safety Training (BEST) Program will be the first statewide effort to educate Utah’s youth about the safe operation of bicycles. This program will be a starting point to getting children and their families more physically active. Bicycles have the ability to improve personal health, air quality, and the livability of communities. Getting physical activity each day even helps to improve academic performance.
The Youth BEST Program is a 5-hour, on-bike program that teaches students how to safely and confidently get around by bicycle. The program is administered at schools and is targeted students in the 5th to 7th grade range. The course takes place for one-hour over the course of five consecutive days.
During the Youth BEST Program, students will learn:
- The benefits of riding a bicycle
- Rules of the road
- Helmet fitting
- Bicycle safety checks
- Navigating intersections
- Right of way
- Avoiding hazards
There is no cost for any school or student to participate. Bike Utah will provide a trained instructor, bicycles, helmets, and all other necessary equipment for the duration of the program. Most of the support provided by the school is logistical:
- Time during the school day (1 hour for five consecutive days)
- Space in a recess area or parking lot to hold the program
- Connections to local volunteers (e.g. through a PTA)
- Minor assistance with pre- and post-program evaluation
The Youth BEST Program is launching this fall. Scheduling of participating schools is going on right now. If you know of schools or teachers who might be interested in having the Youth BEST Program at their school, send an email to [email protected]