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Specialized Foundation expands middle school bike program

Published March 15, 2016
Schools can apply for fall; application period ends April 16.

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (BRAIN) — Specialized’s nonprofit arm, the Specialized Foundation, is rolling out its cycling program to 10 additional schools throughout the U.S. this fall. The application period for schools is from March 15 to April 16.

The Foundation was formed last year to fund research and programs that show cycling’s positive effect on children suffering from attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders. Over the course of the research, the foundation implemented the bike program, Riding For Focus, in eight schools nationwide. 

Schools selected in the new round this fall will receive support, training and equipment with the goal of creating a cycling program in that school for at least two years. The schools will receive up to 30 youth bikes and helmets, a starter maintenance kit, program curriculum, and a trip for the program champion to Specialized headquarters for program training and support.

Each school is asked to provide a program champion, which can be a physical education teacher or principal, who will lead the program at their school.

“We’ve worked closely with a handful of schools to gather the information needed to ensure this program is a success. We're excited to provide more students with the opportunity to improve their classroom performance and behavior through physical activity,” said Lucy August-Perna, Specialized’s advocacy manager.

Riding for Focus is designed to introduce students to cycling’s positive effects on health, wellbeing and academics, with a focus on students with learning differences such as ADHD. The curriculum has been built based on research done by a third party research organization that studied the impact of cycling on middle school students.

The research gathered is based on two studies focused on two segments. The first was the positive impact of cycling for children with ADHD through classroom performance and behavioral improvement. The second was based on the improvement of Standardized Test Scores for students who participated in the bike program compared to students who did not.

“At Specialized we are a company built of riders and have each been transformed through cycling in one way or another,” said Mike Sinyard, Specialized’s founder and CEO. “The Specialized Foundation and Riding for Focus program is our way to contribute to future generations and do our part to create a healthier world for our children. We believe in the power of the bicycle and its ability to transform lives, we get to start here.”

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