Back to school means new learning opportunities for all

Basic bike maintenance is one of the many skills available to learn through Cascade's education department

It’s that time of year again. The sun sets earlier, the air feels crisper, and the kids go back to school. At Cascade, it’s time to reflect on the learning accomplished throughout the summer and to look forward to all the learning opportunities ahead. 

Cascade’s summer camps just wrapped up another successful year of urban biking, trail adventures, and hands-on learning. Along with the Magnuson Park and White Center locations, this year’s lineup included a new location in Shoreline. Bike camps included activities to help students learn common safety and handling skills such as group riding, trail etiquette, passing and verbal/non-verbal communication, intersections and right of way, changing gears, and starting and stopping safely. 

Cascade Youth Programs Manager Ryan Young said it was a great summer for growth. “It’s amazing to watch the campers grow in skill and confidence throughout the week.” He continued, “For many kids, gaining these independent biking skills unlocks a whole new world of being able to get around independently, even if only to the corner store or to school down the street.” 

In addition to basic biking skills, daily camp lessons also incorporated arts, crafts, nature exploration, and games. Cascade’s education team carefully crafted this summer’s curriculum to integrate different academic and free-choice learning disciplines to help keep kids engaged in learning over the long break. 

But just because summer is over doesn’t mean the fun stops. With the 2019-2020 school year upon us, we’re venturing into another year of Let’s Go, our in-school bike and pedestrian safety program for students in third through sixth grades. This school year, Let’s Go will be in around 100 elementary and middle schools in four different school districts across the Puget Sound region, reaching more than 21,000 students. The program operates through a close partnership formed with physical education teachers, school staff, and district administrators. Teachers sign up in advance to borrow the program fleet of 30 bikes, helmets, equipment, and a bike trailer, and Cascade trains and supports them to provide the three-week program directly to students. 

Back to school time is an exciting time of year for kids and families, but fall is also a great time for people of all ages to engage in new learning opportunities. Cascade’s education department offers a full lineup of adult classes for all types of bicycle riders. Whether you’re new to biking and want to practice riding in urban surroundings, or you’re curious about how to maintain all the working parts of your bike, we have a class for you. If you’ve joined the growing e-bike community, we even have maintenance classes to help you learn how to keep your e-bike in top notch condition. Many of these education classes wrap up for the season in October, so be sure to check the schedule soon for upcoming dates. If you can’t fit a class into your busy fall season, not to worry--we’ll open more classes in the spring, so be sure to check back then for the lineup. 

Whether you’re sending a student back to school this fall or are eager to dive into new learning opportunities for yourself, we hope to see you engaged in bicycling learning soon! 

To find more information about all of Cascade’s educational opportunities, visit our education department website

Diana Bryant's picture
Diana Bryant