Dear Friends of Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee,
Thanks for taking the time to catch up with us! We have hit the ground running in 2013, continuing our youth empowerment programs and adding a few new ideas to the mix. Here are some highlights from Venture North’s recent adventures:
- Bike Blizzard at Bryn Mawr Elementary: In February, Venture North partnered with a local school to teach students about bike safety and get everyone excited about biking their way to class. The program originated as a means to support the citywide Safe Routes to School initiative, a strategic plan to improve students’ health while promoting green transportation. While the weather outside was cold and snowy, the indoor Bike Blizzard provided a perfect opportunity for students to get active on bikes. With the help of Venture North staff and enthusiastic volunteers, students worked their way through stations to get fitted for a helmet, learn hand signals, practice using a bike lock, learn about tire maintenance, and bike through a challenging maze. We had a blast and can’t wait to see more young people biking to school this spring.
- All About Bikes (AAB): A new session of AAB, our youth bike mechanic internship project, kicked off on January 18th. Apprentices learn everything they need to know to work in a professional bike shop, gaining valuable experience in customer service and bike repair. Apprentices also help our professional mechanic staff refurbish bikes for sale in the shop, increasing the availability of quality, affordable, up-cycled bikes in our neighborhood.
- Earn-A-Bike: Venture North continued the popular Earn-A-Bike class, graduating five students in January. By attending courses, students learn about bike repair and maintenance in addition to earning a free bike in the process. Students in this session also received free locks and helmets. Another notable fact – the course was facilitated by Lucas, a previous graduate of All About Bikes. We’re thankful that Lucas is strengthening his mechanic skills and providing cascading mentoring to our new students.
The winter can be tough for bike shops, especially in our neck of the woods where this time of year means big snows and sub-zero temps. Whether you’ve stopped by for a cup of coffee, donated online, purchased a bike, donated an old bike, or mentioned us to a friend – thank you! All of these things, big and small, help Venture North survive so that we can continue empowering local youth and working towards a healthier, happier neighborhood.
In the next few months, we’ll be busy planning our spring and summer classes and events. We look forward to providing youth with learning opportunities through Crunch, Zip, Zoom, a summer camp focusing on health and activity, and Pedal Power, a STEM education and biking program for middle school girls.
Again, thank you for supporting Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee. Ride on!