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.
Posts Provided By:
Erin Denay, Executive Director - In Coordination with: Open Roads staff and board members, youth and parents, and dedicated program partners