The South High Bicycle Club is the recipient of the NDEA’s third annual Ready Child Award, which was presented to the group and its advisors Tuesday by NDEA President Dakota Draper. Ready Child is an initiative of the NDEA based on nine tenets for child success called the “Ready Nine”:
- Caring adults
- Early literacy
- Safe environments
- Good health
- Opportunities to give
- Marketable skills
The bicycle club was formed over a year ago by a group of student bicycle enthusiasts and School Resource Officer Chris Potter. It serves to promote riding and basic maintenance skills, rider safety, and self empowerment. The group holds weekly meetings throughout the school year, and afterschool group rides along the city’s bike routes in the fall and spring.
During the club’s first months, it literally took off. In the winter and spring of 2011, while they were learning bike maintenance, members teamed up with their classmates in the school’s Skills USA program to overhaul a TREK Antelope mountain bike. They turned it into a custom piece that was auctioned off in May to raise funds for the bike club’s future activities.
In August, the District received a $1,000 mini grant from the National Center for Safe Routes to School. The funding was used to begin the “Bruin Bike Buddies” partnership between club members and their younger classmates at Carl Ben Eielson Middle School. The two groups held weekly meet-and-ride events in October in order to teach the younger group about bicycle safety, and give them exposure to group ride activities.
Bike club members celebrated Tuesday’s award presentation with a trip to Duanes’ House of Pizza.