The Youth Cycling Program visits Boston schools and other youth-serving organizations with a fleet of bikes and helmets, a team of instructors, and an active curriculum that gets kids and teens riding bikes.
Our program encourages bike riding among youth and teens by teaching them the skills to ride safely and creating sheltered opportunities to practice. We aim to increase physical activity as well as provide bicycle education. Our goal is for participants to have fun on bikes while being active and learning bicycle safety. Our program targets grades 2–12 students and seeks to foster a lifelong love of cycling from an early age.
One mission, many sites
We are a mobile program that operates on an application basis to serve a diverse range of schools. This includes elementary, middle, and high school sites, urban charter schools, special needs schools, girls-only academies, and sometimes local community centers. Our hosts at a school are often PE teachers, but any teacher can coordinate and host our visit. While our program follows certain parameters, we are happy to discuss tailoring our curriculum for the specific needs of a site.
Our program visits schools for 2 weeks at a time, with a team of professional instructors and a fleet of bikes and helmets. We aim to see each group of students 3–4 times in our visit; the first time we see students, we conduct a classroom-based interactive bicycle safety workshop. We discuss the importance of wearing a helmet, following traffic laws, and the safe maneuvering of the bike. Lessons are always age-appropriate. After the first day, lessons move to on-the-bike activities. Using a variety of drills and games, instructors reinforce the lessons of the week. Older classrooms may have the option of going on a group ride to local paths or parks. See our program in action at our Gallery below.
This program has been tremendously successful and well received at schools across Boston, with nearly 5,000 youth participating each year. We are often contacted by teachers after the program, who tell us about how much their students learned, improved behavior during our visit, and an increased rate of homework completion. Our visit is often the highlight of the year for students.