Cindy Dasher, Golden Heart Christian School principal, welcomed 16 students to in-person learning on Aug. 17, 2020. The Fairbanks school has students ranging between first and seventh grade, half of whom are new to the school.
Many families from the community searched out new educational opportunities, toured the campus and met the staff. Dasher was pleased to have such an increase in interest, although she was aware the school was reaching social distancing capacity. Fortunately, GHCS is ready for a few more students should the need arise.
Physical education is a favorite class at GHCS, especially the twice-yearly bike riding activity. Each fall and spring, students bring bikes and helmets to participate. Helen Norton, a retired GHCS teacher and now volunteer, agreed to lead the advanced group on trail rides. She liked that the group had well-maintained, paved trails to ride. The challenge was getting everyone across the four-lane road without any casualties.
Norton, a lively older lady, was surprised she could still out bike everyone, even uphill. Seventh grader Mary enjoyed the day the group detoured to Norton’s house, where lemonade was waiting for them. Becca, a fifth grade student, relished the wind on her face and passing by goats, while classmate Anika loved coasting down hills. Fifth grader Ireland admitted, while she was not a fan of bike riding, she was glad she brought a water bottle for the long rides.
The students gradually increased their distance to finish a 7-mile ride in 45 minutes. Though hot and tired, the group was pleased with their improvement.
Beginner riders had a great time practicing their bike riding skills in the empty school parking lot, most with training wheels. They learned how to watch for other riders, keep speed reasonable and use proper braking techniques. When the weather became too cold to ride comfortably, riding was paused until the new year, with GHCS students looking forward to the spring session.