Monday, July 13, 2015

Cape Coral Police Department Bicycle Challenge Week Held at Oasis Middle School

Kudos to the Cape Coral Police Department and the Oasis Charter Middle School for developing and implementing Lee County's first Summer Bicycle Week Challenge program.  We hope this pilot project serves as a model for other programs throughout the county in the future.

Oasis Charter Middle School students with award certificates. 
 Back row, far right: Luciella Sangiovanni. First row, left to right: Maxwell Shank, Carson Lytle, 
Alexandra Mangrum, Issac Bendezu-Perez, Ethan Hoover, Abbey Kane, Linda Eiberger,
 Lea Eiberger.  (Students not available for photo: “CJ” Arentsen, Hunter Nicely, Emerson, Gibbs, Jacob Satfield).  
 CCPD School Resource Officers and program coordinators: Sandy Negron and Gene Raphael;
 CCPD bicycle unit officers: Ray Schilke, Clint Atkinson, Patrick Taylor, Ismael Perez, 
Jon Kulko, Dan Costa, Jack Lytle. Janiris Caraballo, physical education instructor; 
Shayna Scalise, Oasis High School JROTC student.

Thirteen Oasis Charter Middle School students participated in the Cape Coral Police Department’s (CCPD) first Summer Bicycle Week Challenge, June 29 to July 3. The five day 30-hour program was developed and coordinated by CCPD School Resource Officers Sandy Negron and Gene Raphael who are assigned to the City of Cape Coral Charter Schools.

The goal was to create an innovative and fun bicycle safety education demonstration program for a small number of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students.

Classroom instruction emphasized the importance of obeying the helmet wearing law and other basic rules of responsible riding. Hollywood Bicycle Center staff led the students through a practical and fun competition on how to change a flat tire.

Most of the time was spent “learning while riding.” Obstacle course practice and a 17-mile ride on city bike lanes and bike path sharpened skills and tested endurance.

One day was spent in Sanibel riding on a variety of trails and included a visit to Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Other adventures were pedaling to watch a demonstration by experienced riders at the BMX Park in Cape Coral. A competition ride and awarding Certificates of Achievement took place on the final day at Sunsplash Waterpark.

Officers Negron and Raphael described the program as a team effort of CCPD officers and volunteers and Charter School personnel, with planning assistance from a BikeWalkLee and CapeCoralBike-Ped volunteer. Student evaluations and feedback were very positive. Information about the program will be available to interested Lee School District and Lee County Sheriff’s Department staff.
Report by Steve Chupack


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