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Awarded Grant Summaries

Rolling Through Life

Tonja Lusche, Special Education Teacher, 2021-2022 School Year

Description & Need:
This project would provide 3, three-wheel bicycles for students that would normally not have the ability to learn how to ride a bike. Many of our students are unable to ride a regular two-wheel bicycle. The three-wheel bicycles provide stability for the individual riding it. The bikes that will be purchased vary in 3 sizes to accommodate the different sizes of our students from 3'6" to 5' and above. The students would help regulate their sensory needs, behavior issues, fitness, and life/health needs by learning to ride these bicycles. Bicycle safety would be taught before and during the learning experience. Peer helpers would be involved with the implementation of this project. This project would enable our students to learn how to ride bicycles safely and to encourage a lifelong skill to instill healthy living now and after they leave the school system. 

How project meets Instruction Goals and Mission Statement:
Engaging All Learners to Achieve Success. All students deserve the right to achieve on their level. This project gives students the ability to learn a lifelong activity that can be carried on after they graduate from the school system. Engaging the students in this classroom through physically riding the bicycles and engaging the peer helpers to become great role models to other students throughout the school would be one great outcome of this project. Various teaching and learning methods will be used. Our overall goal, as teachers, is to involve our students in lifelong learning skills and to become successful, well-rounded individuals. This project would encourage our students to learn a skill they have not had the opportunity to learn before, and to continue to use this skill as they grow. 

Major Objectives: 
Students will participate in a bicycle safety course before and during the training period of learning to ride the bike. Students will learn how to put bicycle helmets on correctly. Bicycles will be used at least three times weekly throughout the year. Peer helpers will be utilized in the teaching of the bicycle safety course and the teaching of riding the bikes. Healthy Lifestyles will be discussed with students and their families about carrying this skill over to their home life. Students will request taking a bike ride break when they need the sensory input to help them regulate their own system. Students will request taking a bike ride during their earned free time in the classroom. Students will learn left and right-hand signals for turning.

Teaching Methods:
Throughout the year, various teaching methods will be implemented. Through demonstration, the staff and peer helpers will model different aspects of bicycle safety. Teaching bicycle safety vocabulary and bicycle vocabulary will take place throughout the project. Technology will be used in several different ways. Watching bicycle safety videos and videoing the students as they ride the bikes in the school, or outside, will be effective teaching tools. Books will be read about bicycles and learning to ride bikes. Repetition and reteaching of the skills will be utilized for the students. An outside agency, such as the Columbus Police Department, may be asked to give a Bicycle Safety talk or demonstration to the students. 

Grade Level Impacted:
This project will affect students in 5th through 8th grade. The number of students it will benefit will be ongoing. These bicycles will be used for many years to come. During the evaluation period of the grant, it will benefit at least 10-12 students, but possibly more due to new peer helpers rotating through our room. I know these numbers might seem low, but the impact this project could have for the students, peers, and their families, now and for years to come, is immeasureable. It would be great to expand this program to other schools. Bike safety is a need for all students. 

Additional Materials: 
The staff to implement this project are already part of the school system. The peer helpers will be volunteers from other classrooms throughout the school. The hallways and gyms of the school will be used during inclement weather and the sidewalks and track area will be used as weather permits. The classroom Apple TV, projector, and internet will be used to view bicycle safety videos and to view books about bike riding and safety. The camera app on the Ipads will be used to document the project. Parents will be asked to supply helmets for the project for their child. Permission will also be requested o the parents in order for their child to participate. If parents cannot provide helmets, a form for the District Fundraisers will be filled out requesting donations for helmets from other staff or organizations. This would be contingent on the Columbus Public School's Board of Education approval. 

Project Evaluation:
This project will be evaluated through data taken on the objectives listed in Answer #3, on a daily basis. When students are able to ride the bike successfully, learn bike safety, interact with their peers, and regulate behavior and sensory needs, this project will be deemed a success. Students will have a variety of bicycles to choose from. Pictures and videos will be taken to demonstrate the fulfillment of this project. These videos and pictures will not only be shared with the Columbus Public School Foundation but will be shared with their families as well. Reports will be written and submitted to the Foundation on January 15, 2022, and at the conclusion of the school year, May 28, 2022. The final report will also include a final expenditure accounting sheet.