SAN RAFAEL, CA (BRAIN)—Trips for Kids (TFK) has established its 68th chapter in Ladysmith, Wisconsin in conjunction with the Ladysmith-Hawkins School District. The Trips for Kids Ladysmith Chapter will serve the district's disadvantaged youth.
"Working directly with a school district enables a chapter to connect immediately with kids who can benefit from the program. It also instantly establishes Trips for Kids as a community-based youth development resource," said Marilyn Price, TFK founder and director.
Price added, "Since bicycles and kids are a natural match, young people can be more open to learning when bikes are involved. An ultimate goal would be to integrate bicycling into the physical education departments of schools throughout the country."
The TFK chapters in Trinidad, California, and Pueblo Pintado, New Mexico, are also associated with their local school district and TFK Triangle in Durham, North Carolina, regularly works with its local middle schools. The TFK chapter-school relationships allow students multiple opportunities to participate in the TFK rides and reinforce their relationship with the organization.
The TFK chapters formed in conjunction with a school have found that it is easier to reach some students on the trail than it is in the classroom. Students at schools affiliated with TFK have improved behavior, attendance and relationships with their teachers.
Matt Bunton, president of the Ladysmith TFK chapter, said, "The effort to involve the students in Trips for Kids will ultimately increase their ownership of their school and further their academic and social development. As they participate in this program, the students will learn how to successfully conquer challenges on the trail and in other areas of their life."
More than 50,000 disadvantaged young people have participated in TFK's day-long cycling adventures that take them through nearby parks and outdoor recreation areas. In addition to vigorous outdoor activity, they also enjoy the encouragement of caring adults who teach them about the environment, the importance of healthy choices and satisfaction of accomplishing their goals.