Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods is a coalition of Topeka and Shawnee County citizens and organizations focused on taking action towards improving health priorities in the community.
With a recent expansive installation of bicycle infrastructure and a surge of interest in riding in Topeka, it's important to also offer bicycle safety training to the developing generations of Topekans who want to explore their city on two wheels! The Topeka Community Cycle Project (TCCP) is partnering with USD 501 Topeka Public Schools and Safe Kids Shawnee County (Safe Kids) to offer Topeka Bike Lessons And Safety Tools (BLAST) programming in Topeka's elementary schools. Topeka Community Foundation (TCF) and Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods (HHN) through the Kansas Health Foundation provided donations and grants needed to launch the program. TCCP applied for the Healthy Initiatives grant from TCF and was recently recognized at the TCF 2015 Grantee Reception
"The Cycle Project is excited about the growing community support for bicycling. We are grateful to partner with local foundations, Topeka Public Schools and Safe Streets to bring safety classes to kids," said Kasey Clark, TCCP president. "We want to continue to make cycling more accessible to Topekans. Bicycling is a great way to be active, and it's fun, environmentally friendly transportation."
BLAST centers around a trailer-full of quality bicycles, helmets and curriculum that will offer basic safety on navigating a child's neighborhood on bicycle. The week-long program will be offered in physical education (PE) class. USD 501 will provide instructors and instructional time. BLAST programming involves safety training of basic bicycling tools including scanning and signaling movements in traffic, balance and turning exercises and bicycle laws and how they apply. Similar programming can be found across the country in schools and community centers.
The Topeka Community Foundation and Heartland Healthy Neighborhood grants allow the purchase of one equipped trailer and materials necessary to reach about half of USD 501 schools. Donors interested in bringing safe bicycle riding techniques to the remaining students may contact TCCP at firstname.lastname@example.org
TCCP invites everyone interested in celebrating this achievement for Topeka and its children to attend the Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods(HHN) celebration meeting at 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, at the Lake Shawnee Event Center at 3025 S.E. Croco. At this event, HHN will present a grant for the remainder of the funding needed to implement Topeka BLAST for the 2016-2017 school year.
The Topeka Community Cycle Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit community bicycle shop. TCCP strives to broaden access to cycling in Topeka through hands-on education and bike repair. Located at 423 S. Kansas Avenue Topeka, KS 66603, TCCP is open Thursdays from 5 - 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for open to allow individuals to come and work on their bike for free, as well as earn and learn about bicycles while volunteering. TCCP is always open to donations whether it is of your time, bicycles, parts, tools or ideas!
The mission of the Topeka Community Foundation is to connect donors with their interests and community needs, increase charitable giving in the community, provide leadership on key community issues and ensure stewardship and accountability for effective community investment of donor dollars.