Scott Freed via Crowdrise
November 01, 2011
Cycle Kids Inc. wrote -
CYCLE Kids could not be more thrilled to have secured an invitation to be a part of the 2012 Boston Marathon! We provide communities with an innovative and fun biking curriculum that brings new excitement to physical education, nutrition, and literacy classes. This year we will have six runners representing CYCLE Kids. Support Team CYCLE Kids in raising funds to put the CYCLE Kids program in more communities in metro Boston, New York CIty, and Atlanta. Give children the opportunity to live active, healthy, and curious lives!
Founded in 2004 out of concern for the growing epidemic of obesity and inactivity among children, the CYCLE Kids mission is to promote healthy lifestyle choices by introducing kids to the joys of bicycling and educating them about bike safety and nutrition. We empower children to develop positive, safe, and active lifelong habits.
CYCLE Kids gives schools and community organizations the curriculum, equipment, training and support they need to successfully teach the CYCLE Kids program to students in the 4th and 5th grades. By empowering these organizations to establish an ongoing, healthy intervention program, we are able to reach many more children than by teaching directly. Our innovative program combines classroom experience with physical activity to show children that living an active lifestyle can be exciting and fun.
ABOUT CYCLE Kids
CYCLE Kids was founded in 2004 by Julianne Idlet, a former marketing executive who worked for more than 20 years in the for profit world of technology startups. As an avid cyclist who began riding at a very young age, Julie’s motivation to create CYCLE Kids came from two sources: a desire to share her personal passion for cycling, and a recognition that childhood obesity has become an escalating public health problem. She had a strong belief that tapping into children’s natural love of bikes could be an effective path to changing their behavior.
With the help of nutritional and physical education experts from Boston University and the American Heart Association, CYCLE Kids has developed a curriculum that is socially, ethically, and intellectually balanced for classroom and after-school use.
Our wellness-focused curriculum teaches bicycle skills and healthy eating habits in order to combat the climbing rates of childhood obesity, as well as the resulting physical and psychological consequences. By giving students new knowledge about exercise and healthy eating, we give them the ability to adopt better lifestyle habits and behaviors that can become a lasting way of life.
Children in the CYCLE Kids program experience increased self-esteem, improved academics, and a stronger sense of community. In the “What Does It Mean To Be a CYCLE Kid?” essays, 30% of students mention an increase in self-esteem and confidence. This new confidence has helped 25% of our students learn to ride for the first time.
The CYCLE Kids curriculum also incorporates literacy. Classroom teachers harness the enthusiasm of students for the CYCLE Kids program and channel it into the reading and writing activities in the CYCLE Kids Student and Parent Guides. Many teachers take the opportunity to expand upon the activities in the CYCLE Kids program and incorporate healthy lifestyle themes into their literacy curriculum.
A CYCLE Kids program grant gives a school or community center all the tools and materials they need to be successful in teaching the program. A grant includes 10 bicycles, 25 helmets, 50 Student and Parent Guides, the CYCLE Kids curriculum, in-person training for teachers and police officers, on-site visits, and a “What does it mean to be a CYCLE Kid?” essay and poster contest.
The CYCLE Kids program isn’t just for students. It is our goal to inspire change throughout the communities we work in. When students participate in the program and create their poster or essay, they bring their materials and new knowledge home with them, encouraging their families to be healthy too. After a child participates in a CYCLE Kids program, parents become more comfortable with their children riding their bikes to school. They feel their children will be safer because the school and the community police officers are working with the "CYCLE Kids" to teach them how to bike safely and develop the skills they need to ride a bike on their own. This leads to more use of the bike lanes in a community, and schools needing to install more bike racks.
Police involvement is an important component of the CYCLE Kids mission. In the urban areas where we work, many students associate police officers with trouble. Our program brings students and police officers together to ride bikes and interact in a positive, friendly way. The program teaches children to trust police officers, leading to mentor-mentee relationships between officers and students.
By introducing schools, families, and communities to our work, we hope to empower children to safely ride their bicycles to school or around their own neighborhoods so they can become more active and healthy. CYCLE Kids is reaching students at the perfect age, helping them develop good exercise, safety, and nutrition habits that will last them a lifetime.
The CYCLE Kids program introduces children and families to the importance of physical activity, healthy eating, safety, and community all in one setting.