MPs, McGruff hold bike rodeo to teach children about personal, bike safety

| May 21, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photo by
Pfc. Marcus Fichtl
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8thTheater Sustainment Command 

Spc. Daniel Lose, 13th Military Police Detachment, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, demonstrates proper turning signals to children during the bike rodeo at the youth center on post, May 7. The bicycle obstacle course was divided into four sections, the first two focusing on proper hand signals for breaking and turning, the third and fourth sections focusing on maneuverability and balance.SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Military Police from the 13th Military Police Detachment, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, here, held a bike rodeo and a Drug Abuse Resistance Education presentation teaching homeschoolers about bicycle and personal safety, at the Child Youth Center, here, May 7.

The event gave parents an opportunity to sign up their children for a child identification card and to register their child’s bike with the Provost Marshal’s Office.

The event was divided into two parts, first a presentation with Scruff McGruff about DARE, then a bike rodeo teaching kids about bike safety.

“DARE is a partnership between the schools, police, parents and children,” said Spc. Ruth Kail, DARE instructor.

Since these children are homeschooled, they may not have the same access to the DARE curriculum as a child who is going to school on post, so the MPs along with Army Community Service reached out to develop that partnership.

“We want kids to be able to identify us, McGruff, and McGruff trucks,” said Kail.

McGruff trucks are public vehicles with the McGruff symbol that children can flag down if they feel threatened or unsafe, said Kail. The goal was not only to teach children how to be safe, but also to be able to readily identify the McGruff symbol and understand that it means safety. 

After a song and dance session with McGruff and a child safety discussion with Kail, children and parents filled out keiki identification cards. Children were photographed and fingerprinted, and parents wrote out the child’s information on the form in pencil, making it easy to update each year. Parents said they will store the form in a safe spot.  

The bike rodeo began a couple desks over, where Sgt. Jeremy Baggett, bike patrol noncommissioned officer in charge, registered bikes as Staff Sgt. Angela Koch, traffic section NCOIC, properly fit children’s helmets.

The bike rodeo was divided into three sections, each section developing the basics of bicycle safety, said Baggett. 

Parents registered the child’s bike with PMO in the first station of the course. The second station focused on proper attire and functional safety of the bike. 

MPs made sure children’s helmets were properly fitted, the bikes’ tires were at the correct pressure, the brakes worked properly and the reflectors were in their correct places. 

The third station was a four-part obstacle course, training the children’s turning, breaking and maneuverability skills.                                                       

The first two portions on the course taught children proper hand signals for turning left, turning right and stopping, said Baggett. Children passed the steps when they could execute proper turns using hand signals, then advanced to the “stop on a dime” course where they practiced proper braking techniques.

Then third and fourth stops focused on balance. Children maneuvered in figure eights and through a slalom course, said Baggett. If they fell or felt uncomfortable, MPs had them get back up and retry the course as many times as it took to become comfortable. 

If a bike had a problem, MPs fixed it on the spot, so the child could continue riding.

Parents were as happy with the program as children experiencing it, and keiki enjoyed balloons in the goody bags, clapped to McGruff songs and deftly maneuvered the bike course.

“It’s great that they come out for the kids,” said Sara Mitchell, mother of one of the children attending the event.

“We’re teaching the basics, lessons in safety that you can take anywhere,” said Baggett.

Story and Photo byPfc. Marcus Fichtl8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8thTtheater Sustainment Command SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Military Police from the 13th Military Police Detachment, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, here, held a bike rodeo and a Drug Abuse Resistance Education presentation teaching homeschoolers about bicycle and personal safety, at the Child Youth Center, here, May 7.The event gave parents an opportunity to sign up their children for a child identification card and to register their child’s bike with the Provost Marshal’s Office.The event was divided into two parts, first a presentation with Scruff McGruff about DARE, then a bike rodeo teaching kids about bike safety.“DARE is a partnership between the schools, police, parents and children,” said Spc. Ruth Kail, DARE instructor.Since these children are homeschooled, they may not have the same access to the DARE curriculum as a child who is going to school on post, so the MPs along with Army Community Service reached out to develop that partnership.“We want kids to be able to identify us, McGruff, and McGruff trucks,” said Kail.McGruff trucks are public vehicles with the McGruff symbol that children can flag down if they feel threatened or unsafe, said Kail. The goal was not only to teach children how to be safe, but also to be able to readily identify the McGruff symbol and understand that it means safety. After a song and dance session with McGruff and a child safety discussion with Kail, children and parents filled out keiki identification cards. Children were photographed and fingerprinted, and parents wrote out the child’s information on the form in pencil, making it easy to update each year. Parents said they will store the form in a safe spot.  The bike rodeo began a couple desks over, where Sgt. Jeremy Baggett, bike patrol noncommissioned officer in charge, registered bikes as Staff Sgt. Angela Koch, traffic section NCOIC, properly fit children’s helmets.The bike rodeo was divided into three sections, each section developing the basics of bicycle safety, said Baggett. Parents registered the child’s bike with PMO in the first station of the course. The second station focused on proper attire and functional safety of the bike. MPs made sure children’s helmets were properly fitted, the bikes’ tires were at the correct pressure, the brakes worked properly and the reflectors were in their correct places. The third station was a four-part obstacle course, training the children’s turning, breaking and maneuverability skills.                                                       The first two portions on the course taught children proper hand signals for turning left, turning right and stopping, said Baggett. Children passed the steps when they could execute proper turns using hand signals, then advanced to the “stop on a dime” course where they practiced proper braking techniques.Then third and fourth stops focused on balance. Children maneuvered in figure eights and through a slalom course, said Baggett. If they fell or felt uncomfortable, MPs had them get back up and retry the course as many times as it took to become comfortable. If a bike had a problem, MPs fixed it on the spot, so the child could continue riding.Parents were as happy with the program as children experiencing it, and keiki enjoyed balloons in the goody bags, clapped to McGruff songs and deftly maneuvered the bike course.“It’s great that they come out for the kids,” said Sara Mitchell, mother of one of the children attending the event.“We’re teaching the basics, lessons in safety that you can take anywhere,” said Baggett.

Category: Community

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