Students at Bob and Betty Courtway Middle School will be riding bikes as part of their physical education classes next year, after being selected for a grant from the Specialized Foundation.
Courtway is the only winner from the state of Arkansas in this year’s “Riding for Focus” school program.
The school will not only receive a fleet of specialized bikes, but also access to the Riding for Focus program curriculum, a starter maintenance kit, and helmets to activate the program this fall.
“We decided to write this grant mainly because our students cannot participate in Bike to School day or safe routes to school because we are the opposite of a neighborhood school,” says Courtway Principal Amy Jordan. “We are also worried about the lack of physical activity in our student population, so we felt this would be a good way to possibly tackle both!”
Courtway Middle School is among 41 total schools who received this grant this year.
“We want to sincerely thank all schools that applied this year. We are very fortunate to welcome 41 new schools and their respective communities into The Specialized Foundation family,” said Ted Theocheung CEO, The Specialized Foundation. “With your support, students can ride and thrive.”
The Specialized Foundation was established in 2015 with the intention of introducing students to cycling's positive effects on academic performance, health, and social success, with a focus on students with learning differences like ADHD.
The grant, which now supports more than 30-thousand students in 130 schools across the United States and Canada, helps educators incorporate cycling into the physical education curriculum as a means to increase overall student achievement.
Courtway will use the bicycles from the grant in their Physical Education classes, and they also plan to have a mountain bike club as one of the options for their student body during club time next year.
Jordan says they are excited for the opportunity to teach some kids how to ride a bike for the first time, or teach others more about bicycle safety, maintenance, or advanced riding techniques.
“We ultimately hope for two things: (1) that students will find themselves better focused in class since they will be getting regular physical activity with the Specialized bicycles and (2) that students find a lifelong love of cycling through the Riding for Focus grant.”