Promote road safety
Students and teachers at École Lorenzo-Gauthier felt like Christmas morning on April 22, when they were presented with a fleet of 15 bicycles and helmets as part of Vélo Québec’s Cycliste Aware program. Thanks to the support of Desjardins Group and Decathlon, 540 bicycles were donated to 36 schools in the province this year.
“This fleet will not only enable the students of the Vers l’Avenir school to develop and learn healthy lifestyle habits, but it will also give them the opportunity to surpass themselves and experience success,” said the director. from school, Caroline Rochon.
The bicycles will mainly be used to allow young people in groups 5 and 6 to participate in the Cyclist in the knowledge programme, which aims to transform young people into safe road users.
In doing so, they learn in particular the importance of signaling their intentions and being visible, the behavior to be adapted and the risks that can arise along the way. The program represents approximately fifteen hours of both theoretical and practical learning. Since its inception in 2015, it has trained some 12,700 children from 139 schools.
“We have been part of the Cycling Smart program for seven years and that is very important to me. There are many young people who come to school by bicycle and often when I see them I tell myself that something has to be done, because they are dangerous! The program therefore meets a great need,” says Jonathan Brault, physical education teacher at Lorenzo-Gauthier.
However, he added that in previous years it has been a major challenge to get enough bikes for all students, as some live too far away to cycle to school, others don’t. but are not very suitable. Vélo Québec’s program director, Magalie Berbonne, added that these bicycle fleets for several schools were a determining factor in the decision to participate in the program.
“With a fleet that stays in school, not only will it be easier and more efficient for us to conduct hands-on courses and participate in road trips, but it will also expand the possibilities of cycling activities for the whole school,” explains Mr. Brat out.
The director added that these bicycles will give students the opportunity to engage in outdoor learning in the city’s infrastructure, such as the Saint-Jean-Bosco Park or the Jean-Livernoche Park. “We strive for everyone’s success in an active and stimulating environment that promotes self-esteem and a sense of belonging! †
In turn, the students were also very enthusiastic about these new bicycles. These had just arrived and a few students were already trying them out. “They’re okay!” Confirmed Rose of the fifth grade sports class before sharing her keen interest in cycling.
“I really like it, it gets me moving and it allows me to go places without going through the main streets, but through places that I like, like the forest. In the summer I often go to my grandparents by bike! » His classmate Antoine stated that it was his favorite sport, « it stretches me, allows me to be outside and do it with my friends! †
These responses show that the school’s efforts are having the expected results. The physical education teacher also aims to make the children want to move around by bicycle and to give them the confidence to do so. “For me, the future is if we want to reduce our ecological footprint. †
The general manager of the Caisse Desjardins de Joliette and the Center de Lanaudière, Joël Landry, continued in the same vein by stating that this project will promote the use of bicycles in the lives of these future adults. “They are going to help make the environment a little bit healthier and contribute to the fight against climate change. He ended by thanking the members of the management and all the teachers for investing their time in the Smart Cyclist program.
Remember, the “A Bicycle Fleet for My School” initiative is the result of a partnership signed in 2020 to provide two fleets of 15 bicycles and helmets each year to schools participating in the Cyclist in Science program. The initiative, initially suspended due to the pandemic, has grown to an exceptional size this year thanks to the combined support of Desjardins Group and Decathlon.