Bike Shop, on the surface, is an afterschool program for kids (4th grade and up) to learn to fix bicycles. They even get to keep one free bike or fix their own bike for free, making sure it is safe to ride before it can leave Bike Shop.
On a deeper level, Bike Shop is a program that fosters many life skills. It involves problem solving, choosing a project, working on it and finishing it. Students learn to use the metric system (since most bikes use nuts and bolts that are metric) and they practice working with a partner, helping others, cleaning up after they are done, putting tools back where they got them and recycling. Ultimately, they are empowered and gain a sense of accomplishment.
Bike Shop is housed in the basement of Pineview Elementary School in Reedsburg. The program usually runs from late September to late March or early April on Mondays after school until 4:45pm. Prairie Ridge students who choose to participate are bussed to Pine View for the four weeks their class has Bike Shop, but if they need more days—no problem. Children from private or parochial schools and homeschoolers are welcome as well. To sign up, if you are not a Reedsburg School District student contact Gary Williams at email@example.com
Another element of this program is that participants have the option of fixing a bicycle for someone else in the world. Yes, really! With the help of Orphan Grain Train (501c3) and our own trailer, SOAC has sent repaired bicycles to many cities in the US as well as many countries around the world: Ukraine, Latvia, Moldova, Dominican Republic, Ghana Chihuahua (Mexico), Mound Bayou (Mississippi) and many others. When Bike Shop students are asked if they are keeping the bike they just fixed, many have replied, “No, I want to donate it”. Mr. Williams replies, “Wow! Talk about changing the world. This is the beginning: bicycles and 10-year-olds.”
Mentors needed: We have high schoolers and adults helping the kids at Bike Shop. To get involved contact Gary Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate a bicycle: Have a bicycle you or your kids no longer use? Donate it to Bike Shop! To schedule a drop-off time contact Gary Williams at email@example.com
Make a monetary donation: Donations cover the cost of bike parts needed to repair donated bicycles.