Thirty-eight elementary students from schools in East Portland and St. Johns spent a piece of their summer vacation learning bike skills and self confidence through bicycle camps hosted by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
Led by staff at PBOT’s Safe Routes to Schools program, the bike camps taught bike safety to youth from 8 to 12 years old. Students learned the rules of the road and how to get around their neighborhoods on bicycle. Safe Routes teaches the students specific skills, such as how to signal when riding, riding with traffic, fixing a flat tire, and reading a walk and bicycle map.
Safe Routes to School partners with Multnomah County’s Summer SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods) program to coordinate the camps. According to the County, SUN Community Schools are “full-service neighborhood hubs where the school and partners from across the community come together to make sure kids and families have what they need to be successful - in school and in life.”
Safe Routes to School conducted the camps for two weeks at each elementary school. Multnomah County’s SUN program recruited students from elementary schools participating in the SUN School Program in the David Douglas district (Gilbert Heights, Mill Park) and at Portland Public Schools’ James John Elementary. Students who participated in the bike camps also fueled up with breakfast and lunch provided by the SUN Summer program.
In addition, PBOT hired two high school student interns through the Summer Works Program to assist with the bike camps. Summer Works provides 180 hours of work experience to 16- to 21-year-olds. The interns assist with classroom management and teaching students basic bike skills.
Safe Routes has conducted bike camps for the past four years. The camps are one of the ways that Safe Routes and PBOT integrate equity into the City’s work. For more information about the bike camps, contact Carolina Iraheta Gonzalez, (503) 823-1189