Bike program coalition
YOU WANT A BIKE PROGRAM?
Ask and you shall receive.
The purpose of this coalition is to highlight the voices of educators and administrators working with young people who want bike programs available to their youth on a regular basis, and to amplify the voices of youth who want bikes in their schools.
We hope that by publicizing this need we can make these programs happen! It seems like a lot of individuals and organizations within the bike industry are eager to help -- this space is to connect helpful people with people who need help!
The purpose of the coalition is to:
Navigate Through Uncertainty
We understand that COVID has placed a strain on existing education, afterschool, and summer programs. We believe bikes can help fill in the physical education gaps that have opened up due to the irregular nature of the school year.
Cycling is an ideal sport for youth in a post-COVID world because it can be done outside, even through cooler temperatures given the proper gear and, for older students, it is a form of transportation to and from school, relieving reliance on public transport or parent drop-offs.
When adding one's name to the coalition, one of the questions is about when you'd like to see your program implemented. Planning ahead is recommended, so administrators will not be hounded with offers to donate or help (though, we should all be so lucky).
Pair Teachers/Administrators with Existing Bike Programs
This is a space for ALL administrators, not just those in NYC. We invite other organizations across the country to amplify this message! It would be ideal if every bike program director in a given area knew the schools/camps/youth programs that wanted to incorporate bikes!
Help Teachers + Programs Get Support
In some cases there may be no existing youth bike program, and the teacher/administrator may feel overwhelmed trying to start one from scratch. We can provide the how-to's on what's needed to get kids on bikes regularly, or share how easy it could be to do a few bike clinics taught in partnership with a local cycling club or bike shop. We will assist with outreach.
In cases where there's already a program, perhaps they need to expand or do something new! Maybe they need new helmets or want to add a mechanics instruction to an existing program. Why not work together on that too?
The idea is that registering for Ride Up Grade's Coalition will help administrators find the resources to start and support their own programs with help from outdoor industry, city agencies, even individuals -- whoever wants to help!
There are already programs doing this work: There are already groups, and co-ops, and clubs, that are already trying to teach people how to start their own programs and organizations (Bicycle Collective Wiki), find leaders and funding for predesigned programs (Cycle Kids), help create funding access (Outride), as well as organizations trying to connect them all (Bikes Not Bombs). These lists are by no means exhaustive, but is a good start. Since the information on how to put on programs is readily available, we expect most of the entries we receive to be requests for donations or support. We also expect the coalition will take time grow, and while we are New York based, we will be actively soliciting participants.