SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced the release of the California Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Curriculum for Grades 4 and 5. This release coincides with National Bike to School Day. The free curriculum for schools will be the first of its kind in California and was jointly developed by CDPH, the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
“We want to encourage California students to walk and bike to school so they can be more physically active, but we want them to do it safely,” said Dr. Karen Smith, director of CDPH and state health officer. “This curriculum motivates kids while teaching safe walking and bicycling behaviors. It’s a fun way to get the entire family to be more active outdoors in their community.”
The California Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Curriculum for Grades 4 and 5 is intended to teach students the importance of pedestrian and bicycle safety skills as well as physical activity. The lessons available to students encourage them to develop healthy habits that benefit both their physical development and academic performance.
In 2013, almost 9,000 children ages 5-12 were injured riding their bikes in California. California’s childhood obesity rate is at 38 percent, with an estimated 78 percent of elementary-aged children and 85 percent of teens not meeting the minimum recommendation of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day.
The free curriculum is available for teachers at the California Healthy Kids Resource Center, a project of CDPH and the CDE.
The nine-lesson curriculum is aligned with the Common Core Standards, the National Health Education Standards and the California Health Education Standards. The lessons are integrated with English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Physical Education.