Thursday, August 12, 2010

Remarkable People: Safe Routes Philly at John Marshall School

We wanted to share this great post from the IBikePHL education blog.


Safe Routes Philly Instructor Cy Maramangalam teaching hand signals to students

At the end of the school year, there were some pretty incredible schools with some pretty amazing people working there. One school not to be excluded is John Marshall School in Frankford.

John Marshall School is located in the Frankford area of Philadelphia. Our connection to the school happened when one of our people met a teacher – Ms. Michelle Linton – from the school at an Urban Garden bicycle tour. Thanks to everyone’s help and proactive push, we were able to make it happen!

The first class was quite interesting. As soon as I noticed that I had 8 students in the first class, I assumed that it was a special education class, but little did I know that it was an autistic support class.

I was a little nervous as I prepared to begin my lesson, having no prior experience teaching autistic children and knowing that my lesson had to change slightly to accommodate this special audience. I slowed the pace a little bit, focused the lesson on three points (helmet check, checking your bike, and hand signals), and welcomed support from their teacher Michelle. The lesson went smoothly, and the students were wonderful, as were the remaining classes at John Marshall School!

During a chat I had with Michelle a few days later, she was super thankful for our visit and mentioned that her students were using hand signals as they made turns through the school hallways! What a pleasant success.

Michelle and the Principal, Ms. Carla Glover, are very supportive of the Bicycle Coalition and Safe Routes Philly and are excited to get the students of John Marshall School more involved in biking. Throughout the summer, Michelle and I have been corresponding on getting a team together for Bike Philly, and Michelle made it happen! Look for the John Marshall School team at Bike Philly! Kudos Michelle!

Special thanks goes out to Ms. Kirk, Ms. Colby, and Ms. Dudley for welcoming our Bike Safety lesson to their classrooms, Ms. Glover for the wonderful support, and Ms. Michelle Linton for being an incredible champion for her students. Here’s to 69 more students who are now safer in the streets of Philadelphia.


Would you like Safe Routes Philly to teach a bike safety lesson at your school? Direct instruction lessons are available at all independent, charter, private, and parochial schools. Contact to get connected!

Safe Routes Philly – the youth education program of the Bicycle Coalition - is hosting an event the day before Bike Philly on Saturday, September 11th. Safe Routes Philly Family Phest provides a fun day for families to learn bicycle skills and discover health- and youth-oriented community resources available to them. Bring the family out Saturday to Family Phest and Sunday to Bike Philly and make it a bicycling weekend. And don't forget about the BCP's Scenic Schuylkill Century ride. Mom or Dad can do the ride while the other brings the family to our Phest. Family Phest is held at Eakins Oval from 10:00am-2:00pm on Saturday, September 11th.