In light of all the development in our community the Open Roads team wants to share our status during the COVID-19 outbreak. As a youth-serving organization in the Kalamazoo area, our primary concern is the health, safety, and well-being of all our youth and their families. Consequently we will be suspending programming to ensure the safety of everyone connected to Open Roads.
We will be following the lead of KPS and the health department on this issue, and will continue to make decisions that align with what is proper for us as an organization and for you as a community. And, as the governor and CDC suggests, all organizations that aren’t meeting basic needs are suggested to cancel in person gatherings exceeding more than 10 people.
Let’s stay connected in ways that we can. Know that all of us at Open Roads are deeply grateful for your patience with us. We will revisit this decision and post updates as conditions change.
We look forward to seeing you all in the future. Stay hydrated, wash your hands, enjoy the spring weather, and go for a bike ride!
Hello! My name is Willo and I'm the new Executive Director of Open Roads. This was my first week and what a week it was!
We're in a season of change here at Open Roads. Not only am I new, but Payton, our Apprentice, also started his first week. It was great not being the only one just starting out.
Hopefully we'll get one more person to join our team soon. We are currently hiring a Program Manager for Open Roads. If you're interested or know someone who is, please check out the job description.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to welcome me (and Payton) to the team. I feel so lucky to be a part of what Open Roads does and hope to meet many of you in person soon!
Our first summer Fix happened yesterday!
We fixed and earned bicycles, took test rides on the trail, tried to learn to ride without training wheels, and took a well-deserved break on the sidewalk for some chalk time with the little kiddos.
This summer we're welcoming students 18 and under to our workshop every week on Thursdays from 3-7pm!
We encourage students to bring their bike so they can make repairs and learn to do tune-ups, but even if students show up without bikes they can participate in the other special summer activities we will have going on. The air conditioned Youth Lounge will always feature arts and crafts and lego free-play. We'll head outside when it's nice for games and play in the backyard and sidewalk. When we have enough students with repaired bikes around we'll take a short trail ride to stretch our legs. It's going to be one fun summer and we want you and your kids to be part of it with us!
F.A.Q. for Parents, Grandparents, Guardians:
Do I need to stay with my child at the program or can I drop them off?
You are more than welcome to stay and relax in the Youth Lounge or by your child's side while they participate in the program. We suggest having a conversation with your child to see if they would be more comfortable with you staying or leaving. If you leave and they decide they want to be picked up, they can always use our phone to call for a ride. Parents are NOT required to be with or check their child in at the program every day, unless their child is age 6 or under. We encourage independence and self-advocacy and have many students age 7 or over who come to the program on their own. We simply require a waiver to be completed their first time attending the program. Once that waiver is on file, they can come on their own anytime with your permission. Please note that due to the nature of our programming and the number of students who check themselves in and out, we do not control when students leave the program unless we know they are being picked up by an adult family member or friend. *Please feel free to have a conversation with a staff member or call us at the shop if you want to discuss specific rules for your child entering and leaving the program (we have some adults who want their child to call them to let them know they are on their way home, for example).
Will my child be fed at the program?
We offer healthy snacks during the program that include a fruit, grain, dairy, or protein option. If you child has food sensitivities or specific dietary needs please let a staff member know and indicate it on their waiver. During the summer we usually have pizza together at the very end of the program around 6:30pm.
What if my child doesn't have a bike but wants to attend?
During the summer we see a ton of students who don't have a bike but want to participate. There are three options:
Can we leave my child's bike there at your workshop?
Unfortunately we don't have enough space to store student bikes. We encourage them to buy, or apply for a scholarship, for a bike lock to secure their bike at home.
What if my student has unique emotional or learning needs, or requires specific physical accommodations? Will they be able to participate and enjoy themselves?
Yes! We will work hard to make sure your student feels included, engaged, and valued here. We will work with you and your student to ensure there are appropriate activities and staff support to accommodate any needs your student may have. If you would like to talk about your child in advance before you bring them to a program, feel free to call and talk to a staff member about a game plan you feel good about!
Can my child bring my bike or their sibling's bike to work on and fix? Is there a limit on the number of bikes they can repair?
Due to our limited resources and focus on youth bikes, we encourage parents to bring their bikes to our Saturday Adult Open Shop, a donation-based program where adults can use our tools and get advice from our team members about making their own repairs to their bikes. Students can put air in their parent's tires and clean their parent's bikes up, but we cannot do part replacement or major repairs.
If one of your children cannot attend the program but need their bike repaired, we do allow students to repair their sibling's bike. We prefer that students fix and work on their own bikes, but know this is not always possible.
We have a firm one bike per year rule with students. We set this expectation upfront and ensure they understand the bike they bring to the program to work on regularly should be the same bike every time. That is the bike we will invest new parts into and support them in maintaining. Exceptions are made for when they outgrow their bike, pass that bike on to a younger sibling or family member, and occasionally we can make exceptions for bikes that get stolen. We prefer to coach your child on lock use and provide a bike lock to prevent theft, but know that life happens!
Posts Provided By:
Kyrone Maye, Executive Director - In Coordination with Open Roads staff and board members, youth and parents, and dedicated program partners.