Where has the time gone? Mid-July got here in a hurry! We've been soaking up every minute of our summer programming and so many good things are happening around the shop! The Summer I Earn-a-Bike session is in full-swing and we've got an incredible group of students working hard each week to build up their bicycles! They graduate tomorrow night with their bikes, locks, helmets, certificates, shirts, and photo packets. Next week we'll start the Summer II program with 12 kids!
"He loves the program!! Every Tuesday he comes home basically yelling with joy/ happiness telling us what he did!" - Earn-a-Bike parent
"She LOVES her bike & is SO excited about being able to help build it! This is an amazing program & I would just like to thank you and the entire staff for the work your doing for these kids and the community!" - Earn-a-Bike parent
The weekly Fix programs have been busy and full of bike repair, pizza (thanks to our amazing and incredibly generous pizza donors) and fun! S/O to our program partners dedicated to ensuring their students have access to a mode of transportation they can learn to maintain themselves: Peace House, El Concilio, Kalamazoo Public Library, and New Village Park. We've been seeing record numbers especially at our Thursday Fix programs here at our own shop so far this summer! Dozens of students are returning each week and we're meeting new students each day. Our team has been cranking out safe bikes with their youth partners and the new Youth Lounge has become a hot spot for science experiments, paper airplane contests, reading, and creative pursuits! We have a handful of volunteers who have been making Thursdays successful with our staff team: Isyss, Doc, and Leah to name a few!
1st Mondays with Bike the Zoo have been so much fun! These free, drop-in public rides are open to all and take place the 1st Monday of each month through October starting at 6pm. Rides start and end at the PFC Grocery & Deli: 507 Harrison St in Kalamazoo. Youth Advisory Board members at Open Roads are ride leaders! We are grateful for their leadership and the support of Bike the Zoo for this exciting opportunity for our students in programs to practice their leadership skills. Join us for the next ride on Monday, August 6th! Last month youth board members Josh and David took the lead and even got to speak with Public Media Network about their work. Check that video out here.
We are so grateful for the support that makes our busy summer program season a possibility! If you are looking for ways to support right now, here are a few:
- We are looking for donations of legos for the youth lounge!
- We can use all of the gently used (or new, of course) bike locks you can give!
- You can give your time to help us out on Thursdays as a volunteer!
- Recurring, monthly donations are easy to setup! Even $10 per month will provide one helmet each month to a student who earns a bike.
May 12-19, 2018 - Kalamazoo Bike Week is all about celebrating cycling. It promotes cycling advocacy, awareness, education and most importantly, fun!
The first few days of bike week may be a bit rainy, but it looks like the skies plan to open up to clouds and sunshine soon! We kicked off the week with a Bike Adventure at Haverhill Elementary with Safe Kids Kalamazoo and friends on Saturday. Instructors David, Lily, and Danny got to help out with some bike tune-ups and safety checks!
The rest of bike week has so much to offer! There are about a dozen rides for you to consider joining in on plus the cherry on top of bike week on Saturday, May 19th: Bike-A-Palooza! This exciting night out is brought to you by Honor Credit Union, Old National Bank, and Eaton. We have a handful of amazing partners and sponsors who have showed us a lot of love this year and we can't wait to celebrate 10 years of Open Roads in our community! As you may know, this annual Bike Week event features: ABUNDANT HORS D'OEUVRES & DRINKS, LIVE MUSIC BY RYAN KOZ, ACCESS TO ART GALLERIES FROM 6-7PM, STUDENT SPEAKERS, SILENT AUCTION, & A BIKE RAFFLE SPONSORED BY PEDAL!
Take a look at the schedule below and visit our friends over at Kalamazoo Bike Week to click on all kinds of events and learn more about how to participate!
Adding new staff to our team is always an exciting process.
We have so many weekly programs that take place each summer, so we usually find ourselves recruiting additional part-time team members this time of year. We are hiring for both a Social Skills Instructor and a Bike Mechanic Instructor! Most of our staff team is cross-trained and able to play both roles in a program, but most new hires step into one role to start off. We can't wait to grow our team by two! Both positions will remain open until filled. Priority will be given to applications received by May 2, 2018. See both job descriptions and applications here:
The bottom line is this- we are committed to facilitating empowering youth bike programs in Kalamazoo that help young people become more self-sufficient and successful. If you think you can teach some serious skills, have some serious fun, and be committed to giving time and energy to Open Roads and the students we work with, please submit an application. We are excited to meet you!
Posts Provided By:
Erin Denay, Executive Director - In Coordination with: Open Roads staff and board members, youth and parents, and dedicated program partners