The Strider Foundation
Children’s House was lucky to be blessed with 18 Strider Bikes thanks to a grant The Strider Foundation. Striders are a perfect way for children to learn the balancing skills necessary to move on to a regular pedal bike. We also received a training manual to help us teach the children how to master the bikes. After a month of using them, we were ready to hit the streets (or at least bike paths) with the children. All who were practiced enough chose a Strider and a helmet, and the teachers set off with children, and a bike trailer in case anyone needed a lift later.
First day back after a week off 12 children set off down the bike path. Our destination was the woods behind Unity Church at the corner of Folsom and Valmont. The children have been fitted with a personally sized Strider bike and helmet. Our first challenge is to make it safely down our sledding hill. Teachers encourage children to use their “breaking feet” to successfully negotiate the slope.
A couple hundred of yards later, we quietly roll up and observe a peregrine falcon standing in the shallow creek. We quietly watch peregrine falcon as the children ask questions, “what’s it doing?” “Where are its babies?” satiating our curiosity we traveled on. Children had to keep to the right to follow bike path traffic rules and maintain the physical endurance needed to the 1 1/2 mile round trip.
Other bikers and pedestrians cheered us along as they watched the Strider bike parade pass by.
On the walk
Our next brush with nature came further up the path when we saw 4 deer milling about the grass and drinking from the stream. We crossed the wooden bridge and one of the children spotted a pair of mallard ducks. Our knowledgeable children were able to recognize the difference between the male and the female duck.
We came to the end of the trail and had to jump the 18 inch creek. Some of us were confident and some of us showed concern for the jump. We all made the jump safely with a teacher’s hand.
We walked the flattened glass path along side the creek. A child spied deer poop, scat, and we looked carefully so we would be able to identify it another time. We noticed lots of sticks on the ground so the adventuresome crew decided to try their hand at stick fishing. We lined up on the bank and put on sticks into the creek. No one got a bite that day but it didn’t down our spirits.
Back to school
We set off back to the preschool and rested with a nice refreshing apple juice ice cube.
We made our goal. Stride 1 mile to prepare ourselves for the Lights of December Parade.