Dakota Download Governor Burgum's Weekly Update - January 21, 2024

North Dakota partners with All Kids Bike to provide Learn-to-Ride program for kindergarten students

Private partners sought to expand program statewide to all public and non-public elementary schools in North Dakota

Gov. Doug Burgum announced that 299 public and non-public elementary schools in North Dakota will have the opportunity to receive the All Kids Bike Learn-to-Ride Kindergarten PE (Physical Education) Program, giving a projected 9,000 students the opportunity to learn to ride a bicycle in the 2023-24 school year alone. The goal is to gain private sector partners to ensure every kindergarten class in the state has access to this exciting program, making North Dakota the first state to provide statewide programming.

All Kids Bike, a nonprofit organization equipping schools with everything needed to teach children to ride a bike, was awarded a $1,568,000 grant from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund to bring its Learn-to-Ride PE Program to elementary schools throughout the state. Additionally, the Governor’s office is working to secure additional funding needed to ensure the program is available to kindergarteners statewide.

“Learning to ride a bicycle provides a lifelong skill that promotes physical activity and independence and gives students another mode of transportation as they get older,” Burgum said, noting the previous financial support from MDU Resources Foundation to establish the All Kids Bike program at Northridge Elementary School in Bismarck in November 2022. “We’re grateful for the support of Scheels and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway who have signed on to this incredible opportunity. With the state offering a 3-to-1 match, we are seeking additional private sector partners to make the Learn-to-Ride program available statewide and make North Dakota the first state in the nation to provide this opportunity for every kindergarten student.”

“We applaud Governor Doug Burgum and his bold vision to establish the Learn-to-Ride Kindergarten PE Program in all of North Dakota’s elementary schools,” said Lisa Weyer, executive director of the Strider Education Foundation, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit operating All Kids Bike. “Giving this key developmental milestone to every kindergarten student in North Dakota will reap lifelong benefits for individuals, families and communities.”

“As magnified during the pandemic, many children are struggling with isolation, lack of physical activity and increased screen time, which are contributing to mental and physical health challenges in and out of the classroom,” Weyer added. “Learning to ride a bike builds independence and healthy habits beyond the basics of movement and balance. We are grateful for the opportunity to expand our program so significantly.”

Each All Kids Bike Kindergarten Learn-to-Ride PE Program is comprised of a fleet of 24 Strider bikes, pedal conversion kits, helmets, a teacher instruction bike, rolling metal bike storage racks, curriculum aligned with national SHAPE PE standards, teacher training and organizational support from All Kids Bike for as long as a school operates the program. Each fleet of bikes has at least a decade-long lifespan, giving potentially hundreds of kindergarten students per school the opportunity to learn to ride.

All Kids Bike is currently reaching out to all eligible North Dakota elementary schools, public and non-public. School districts with elementary schools participating in the program include Bismarck, Bottineau, Burlington, Center, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Dunseith, Fargo, Garrison, Grand Forks, Hazen, Jamestown, Mapleton, Medina, Minot, Minto and Tioga among others. To learn more about the statewide initiative in North Dakota or find out how to bring the program to your local school district, contact info@allkidsbike.org.

Burgum appoints Interim Director Colby Braun to lead ND Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Gov. Burgum has appointed Colby Braun to serve as director of the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR), effective Jan. 18.

Braun had served as interim director of DOCR since Jan. 1, assuming the role after the retirement of former DOCR director Dave Krabbenhoft. Braun also served as DOCR’s director of facility operations since August 2018. He previously served for nearly five years as warden of the North Dakota State Penitentiary, four years as DOCR’s director of transitional facilities and six years as warden of the Dakota Women’s Correctional and Rehabilitation Center.

“Braun brings nearly 21 years of experience in the ND DOCR system, in a variety of positions, successfully advancing the mission of rehabilitation and preparing DOCR residents for reentry into our communities,” Burgum said. “His skill set will serve North Dakota well as we strive to reduce our prison populations and costs and ensure that our system is producing better neighbors rather than better prisoners, because we know the vast majority of those incarcerated will eventually transition back into society – and our top priority is always the safety of our citizens.”

Braun earned a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson State University and began his career in corrections in 1997 as a correctional officer at the Southwest Multi-County Correction Center in Dickinson.

“I am incredibly humbled and grateful to be selected to lead North Dakota in corrections and rehabilitation,” Braun said. “It’s important we continue to lead with public safety, connecting us with our communities and focusing on the well-being of the adult residents and youth in our facilities, those on supervision, the victims and our team members. Together we will live out our mission of transforming lives, influencing change and strengthening community.”

Krabbenhoft retired Dec. 31 after more than 20 years in corrections and nearly four decades of service to the state of North Dakota. Burgum expressed his gratitude to Krabbenhoft for his service.

Burgum waives hours of service requirements for propane haulers

Gov. Burgum signed an executive order Thursday waiving hours of service requirements for drivers of commercial vehicles transporting propane.

North Dakota faces extremely low inventories of propane as a result of market conditions impacted by severe seasonal weather and increased heating fuel demands, the order states. Waiving the hours of service requirements will help carriers avoid delays and deliver propane to meet the needs of residential customers.

The 30-day waiver was effective Thursday. All road safety and vehicle compliance regulations still apply.

Burgum to deliver State of the State Address on Tuesday, Jan. 23, in Dickinson

Gov. Burgum will deliver his 2024 State of the State Address at 10 a.m. MT/11 a.m. CT Tuesday, Jan. 23, in Dorothy Stickney Auditorium located within May Hall at Dickinson State University.

The event is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 9 a.m. MT/10 a.m. CT. Attendees must use the entrance to Stoxen Library, which is connected to May Hall. Members of the public will need to go through a screening process at the entry point and are encouraged to leave backpacks and purses at home. Parking information is available here.

A public reception in May Hall will immediately follow the address.

The address will also be livestreamed on the governor's website at governor.nd.gov.