It’s never too early to learn the rules of the road, at least in the mindset of Carolie Mills, the director of Young Minds Preschool in Clinton Hill.
July 20 marked the seventh trike-a-thon in the history of Young Mind’s Preschool. However, it’s only been the third time the event has been hosted with help from the FAB Alliance, who allowed the children to ride tricycles in Putnam Triangle Plaza instead of on the roof of the school, the event’s former venue.
The trike-a-thon has become an annual favorite for the community and a pet project for Carolie Mills. Mills first got the idea for the trike-a-thon from St. Jude’s Hospital, who hosts a similar event. But to make it her own, Mills decided to incorporate a safety lesson along with the three-wheeled fun.
“We [teach them to] give way to someone who’s walking, like a pedestrian, or if somebody is driving and having difficulties, be cautious and go around or wait for them and see what happens,” said Mills, describing some of the traffic safety tips she usually gives the children.
Mills even throws in a mini health lesson. She teaches the children the importance of using a hairnet when sharing helmets so that other things don’t get shared.
Ultimately, the lessons were not very long this year, at least not for Nancy Merilien’s class of two- and three-year-olds. For about fifteen minutes, the tykes rode around the colorful one-way streets constructed for them, but soon they all migrated to the plaza’s Pop-Up Reading Room provided by The Uni Project.
“What happened to my trike-a-thon?” Mills asked jokingly when she saw that the tricycles had been upstaged by the books. Nonetheless, she was happy to see the kids learning the joy of play, whether moving around furiously… or sitting perfectly still.
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