A specially developed classroom curriculum has been developed for fourth- through sixth-grade students in the 16 California cities that will host the 2009 Amgen Tour of California.
Through interactive lessons, the 2009 educational handbook will teach students about the history of cycling and includes bike safety and maintenance tips. Provided to more than 60,000 students, the booklet also provides information about the State of California, including targeted lesson plans that use cycling as a means to teach core subjects.
"We are proud to work with the Amgen Tour of California in bringing you an educational booklet for students in grades four through six," said California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in his opening note to teachers. "This informative handbook – which includes valuable lessons in bike safety and maintenance, history, geography, science and math – can help make our kids safer, smarter and healthier."
Classroom activities such as weather charting and word searches allow educators to reach students with engaging material developed specifically to supplement the curriculum of students in grades four through six. The handbook also includes a lesson on world geography, as it relates to cyclists that have participated in the race, math, science and a cycling glossary to help students better understand the intricacies of professional cycling.
"Part of the mission of the Amgen Tour of California is to give back to the communities that we visit," said Andrew Messick, president, AEG Sports, presenter of the race. "We always see such an incredible level of support from young people throughout the state during the race, so we designed this curriculum to further engage young Californians; not only get them excited about cycling, but also educate them on how to lead an active lifestyle and ensure they have the necessary tools to develop healthy habits at a young age."
Host cities along the route will augment the curriculum with exciting activities targeted to students such as drawing, colouring and essay contests; bike safety and other bike-related school assemblies; as well as spirit and participation contests among local schools.
Already considered cycling's most important and successful road race in the United States, the 2009 Amgen Tour of California will be expanded to cover more than 800 miles over nine days. The event's fourth running is scheduled for February 14-22, 2009, and will showcase some of the world's top professional cycling teams. Traveling almost the entire length of California on a demanding course, the race will begin in the state's capital, Sacramento, and end in San Diego County for the first time.
Building on last year's third annual stage race, the 2009 Amgen Tour of California will visit 16 host cities for official stage starts and finishes, with communities along the route getting the chance to see firsthand a lineup of some of the best and most recognizable teams in the world. Host cities for the nine stages include: Sacramento, Davis (new city for 2009), Santa Rosa, Sausalito, Santa Cruz (new city for 2009), San Jose, Modesto, Merced (new city for 2009), Clovis (new city for 2009), Visalia (new city for 2009), Paso Robles (new city for 2009), Solvang, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, Rancho Bernardo (new city for 2009) and Escondido (new city for 2009).
For more information, visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
(Additional editorial assistance by Susan Westemeyer.)