A bike safety program for middle school students in Eugene and Springfield is expanding. A $30,000 grant will help the program add over 40 classes.
The Jane Higdon Foundation is a private memorial fund named after a Eugene woman who was killed by a truck while riding her bike.
The 10-hour safety course teaches kids the fundamentals of bike safety and traffic laws. Students begin in the classroom, but by the end of the course they take a ride through their community.
Zane Wheeler works for the program. He says the grant from the Memorial Fund will help hire more instructors and bring the classes to more schools.
Wheeler: “The big goal is just to increase ridership in kids. Every semester we find that there’s more and more kids that cannot ride a bike. It’s just such a freedom and such a wonderful tool for kids to get outside and ride, not just for exercise but also just the freedom that comes with it.”
Wheeler says they want to encourage more students to ride bicycles and give them the tools to safely navigate through traffic. The grant allows the program to serve another 16 hundred students in the Eugene, Springfield, and Bethel school districts.