By Joey Santamoor
Director of Physical Education & Assistant Principal, Malone Middle School
Through grants provided by The Heart Network’s Creating Healthy Schools & Communities (CHSC) program, which is funded by New York State, the Malone Central School District has been able to establish a school environment that supports and promotes healthy activities once prominent in our schools but have been lost with the current generation.
Malone Central School’s Physical Education Department has adopted a k-12 “All Kids Bike” curriculum. Within this program, students at each level, through development and implementation of a bicycle education program, have learned bike safety, built confidence in themselves and explored the fun of biking and an appreciation of its benefits.
At Malone Central School, we have taken this program even further by offering a bike program for our adaptive students — students with specific physical, mental, emotional and/or sensory impairments. With additional support from The Heart Network’s CHSC program, we’ve purchased two adaptive bicycles that help meet these students’ needs. They have built confidence in themselves, have a feeling of comfort while on these bikes and have integrated our students as a whole with inclusion during their Physical Education classes. We have general education students who ride with these students, which has built and developed better social skills and helps in breaking down barriers once found between students within unique educational needs and reinforces the importance of a whole approach and not a “one size fits all” perspective.
With the continued support of The Heart Network, we hope to add more bikes to our program for our elementary students, along with helmets for each building, purchase a new adaptive bike that would use hand power instead of leg to help our students who have unique abilities that may differ from the norm and continue the great work that the Malone CSD Physical Education staff is building to benefit all of our students needs both physically and emotionally.