Contact: Bevin Theodore, Director of PR & Communications
800-25-PEACE, ext. 7797
North Whitehall Township – In March, 19 children graduated from the first round of Community BikeWorks at KidsPeace. Now another 24 are hard at work learning bike safety and repair so they can earn a bike and helmet of their own.
The course runs through June 6, with six classes held each week so the participants can get individual attention and hands-on time working on the bikes.
Class members learn the parts of the bike, the tools they will use and how to perform various repairs. By the third week of class, participants, who are recommended for the course based on good behavior, choose the bikes they’d like to repair and ultimately take home.
Rob Scott, supervisor of recreational facilities and leader of the program at KidsPeace, said the children sign a commitment contract and keep a journal outlining their progress during the 20 hours of classroom time.
Community BikeWorks was started in Allentown by Stefan Goslawski as an effort to provide children an alternative to hanging on the streets. Scott used to take a small group of children to the Allentown site, but it was difficult to organize getting them off campus, so a partnership was formed where staff took a course and brought their knowledge back to the children.
Opportunities are available for any member of the media who would like to attend a BikeWorks class, talk to Scott and the participants and take photographs or video.
Founded in 1882, KidsPeace is dedicated to serving the behavioral and mental health needs of children, preadolescents, teens and young adults, offering a comprehensive range of residential treatment programs; accredited educational services; and a variety of foster care and community-based programs to give hope, help and healing to children, families and communities. KidsPeace offers services in Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia.