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LA CROSSE, Wis., (March 26, 2024) – Northside Elementary School and Coulee Montessori are rolling out the implementation of the Learn To Ride bike unit aimed at equipping every student with the skills to ride a bike by 3rd grade.

Created by Physical Education Teacher Emily Siegmeier and made possible through a generous $5,160 Gold Star Grant from the La Crosse Public Education Foundation, this transformative project addresses the 41% of Northside students who currently do not know how to ride a bike.

Siegmeier’s vision is clear: to provide every student with the opportunity to learn the essential life skills of bike riding in a safe, supportive, and encouraging environment. With the acquisition of 20 Strider Balance Bikes and helmets, courtesy of the grant, students will develop balance, coordination, and confidence essential for transitioning to pedal bikes.

“Learning to ride a bike opens up a world of possibilities for our students,” says Siegmeier. “It’s about more than just physical activity; it’s about independence, transportation, and pure enjoyment.”

The Learn To Ride unit is integrated into PE classes, offering K-2 students a structured curriculum focusing on mastering biking skills and road etiquette. The Strider Balance Bikes will provide a durable and long-lasting resource for generations of Northside students.

Partnering with Smith’s Bike Shop for assembly and maintenance, the school ensures seamless execution and the longevity of the program, further enhancing the learning experience for students.

The young students completed the PE unit by learning to navigate an obstacle course and pump track in the gym, showcasing their newfound biking skills.