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PATH educates 66 North Hawaii students in bike safety

<p>Hawaii Preparatory Academy fourth grade students practice their bike skills during the PATH Bike Ed course. (COURTESY PHOTO BY COBEY DOI)</p><p>Hawaii Preparatory Academy fourth grade students practice their bike skills during the PATH Bike Ed course. (COURTESY PHOTO BY ROBYN HAFNER)</p>

Hawaii Preparatory Academy fourth grade students practice their bike skills during the PATH Bike Ed course. (COURTESY PHOTO BY COBEY DOI)

Hawaii Preparatory Academy fourth grade students practice their bike skills during the PATH Bike Ed course. (COURTESY PHOTO BY ROBYN HAFNER)

Kicking off this year’s bike education season, 66 fourth and fifth grade students from Waimea Country School, Parker School, and Hawaii Preparatory Academy participated in a three day, hands-on bicycle skills and safety course in the parking lot at the Waimea Community Center. Now in its fifth year, the bike education course is presented to island schools and homeschool groups free of charge by the Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii, a Kona-based bicycle and pedestrian advocacy non-profit group. PATH provides bikes, helmets and trained instructors for the on-site program.

Funded collaboratively by Kaiser Permanente, the County of Hawaii, Big Island Honda, and PATH, Bike Ed will educate more than 600 island keiki this year. Each Bike Ed graduate received a new helmet.

The Kona Community Hospital Trauma Program, to help reduce the risk of brain trauma to children, collaborated with PATH to donate 1,200 new bicycle helmets for Hawaii Island students. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, using a helmet reduces the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent. In Hawaii, bicycle riders under the age of 16 are required by law to wear a helmet.PATH was founded in 1986 with a mission to safely connect people and places on Hawaii Island with pathways and bikeways. To find out more or to make a donation in support of Bike Ed, visit PATH at www.pathhawaii.org.