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Ride on!

Ximena Marky Health and Recreation News

The Bike to School Project enables more children and youth to discover the personal and community benefits of cycling for transportation. Since 2013, we have reached tens of thousands of students with cycling education programs, and helped create lasting change at individual schools and beyond. 2019 was our most impactful year yet!

In March we wrapped up a large-scale program funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Check out our accomplishments in Ride On! Report on the Bike to School Project, April 2016-March 2019. Many thanks to our collaborators Cycle Toronto and the Toronto Cycling Think and Do Tank!

Throughout the spring, we delivered more programs in 30 schools, in partnership with the Toronto District School Board. In June, we launched Bikes 4 Kids, a charitable initiative. With support from our founding donors and partners, Malcolm Mackillop and Brandin O’Connor of Shields O’Donnell Mackillop LLP, we assembled 60 NEW bicycles. Then we gave them away to the entire grade 5 class at a school in northwest Toronto.

Meanwhile, our Families and Educators for Safe Cycling project, funded by the Metcalf Foundation, engages students and families in campaigns for safer, more complete streets. As a result, the new City of Toronto Bike Plan includes several new routes that will serve children and youth.

New pilot project

As the new school year got underway, we launched a new pilot project funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Our focus is students with behavioural, communicational, intellectual, and/or physical exceptionalities. We have installed a fleet of 15 bicycles at one specialized school, thanks to our partner the South Riverdale Community Health Centre. So far 58 students have taken part in Riding Skills and Learn to Ride classes. Six students learned (or re-learned) how to ride, and were thrilled with their accomplishments! Next, 17 students spent five weeks learning bicycle ABC Safety Check routines. We also started a lunch-time Bicycle Club, where more students are getting the chance to learn to ride and improve their cycling skills.

With so many accomplishments behind us, we look forward to what 2020 brings!