Around the UFT

PS 114, Brooklyn, creates bicycle safety video

Riding tall in the saddle

Cohen and the students celebrate a job well done. Erica Berger

Cohen and the students celebrate a job well done.

The kids ready their bikes as the filming gets underway. Erica Berger

The kids ready their bikes as the filming gets underway.

Thirty 5th-grade students at PS 114 in Brooklyn had the ride of their lives on June 2 when a professional camera crew filmed a bicycle safety video they created. The video, made in conjunction with the New York City police and transportation departments and Vision Zero, a multinational road safety project, will be shown at schools citywide in the 2016–17 school year. “It was a perfect example of students working as a team and making decisions together to create something from scratch,” said teacher Fran Cohen. The video featured safety tips translated into three languages — Spanish, Arabic and Haitian Creole — that are spoken in the school’s Canarsie community, a bicycle-riding demonstration, and a song-and-dance routine with a bike safety theme. The students’ script was about a young boy who oversleeps and has to ride his bike to school with friends. “It was a lot of work, but it was a fabulous experience, a collaboration of love,” said Roni Schoenfeld, PS 114’s project coordinator. Another collaborator was Steven Waters, of the city’s Vision Zero Action Plan, who has taught safety classes at the school for two years. As part of his program, the 5th-graders clocked the speed of cars driving past the school and then compiled statistics. The video was shot in the school playground after an outdoor breakfast for guests including parents, local elected officials and Thomas Chan, the NYPD’s chief of transportation. “Production of the video gave our 5th-grade scholars a greater awareness of the dangers that exist while riding a bike, and they had an awesome time doing it,” said Chapter Leader Kenya Bowman.

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