We're rolling out with our latest grant recipient, Boston-based CYCLE Kids. Read more about how something as simple as getting on two wheels can shift self-esteem and self-confidence of young girls everywhere.
Organization Name: CYCLE Kids
What do you guys do over at CYCLE Kids?
CYCLE Kids gives elementary schools a well-researched and successful program that uses riding bikes to educate and excite children about the importance of eating well and exercising. Children gain confidence and make new friends. They learn they need to focus to ride a bike and to do better in their academic classes.
Most importantly, they learn that exercise and healthy eating can be fun. Each year, the CYCLE Kids program continues to provide a pathway for a physically fit, psychologically healthy, and academically successful life for kids.
We're super excited to give you a grant to build bikes for a new elementary school. Why is this so important?
A CYCLE Kids bike build event kicks off a new program in an elementary school and introduces the children, teachers, and community to how the magic of riding a bike can improve a child’s physical and emotional health. Building the bikes together to kick-off a new program creates an environment where new supportive relationships can flourish between children and adults, and children begin to build confidence that will continue throughout the CYCLE Kids program.
How has movement empowered the kids you work with and what effect has CYCLE Kids had among those that need it most?
In 2004, CYCLE Kids founder, Julianne Idlet, envisioned CYCLE Kids as a solution to the growing childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S. She wanted to provide schools with a program that made exercising and eating healthy both fun and sustainable. What she never could have predicted is the ability of the program to also impact the emotional well-being and academic success of children. Julianne says, "When we were developing the program, I was so focused on the physical component that I had no idea I was building a lifeline for these kids; a chance for a better future."
How has CYCLE kids had an impact on young women specifically?
As girls approach their teenage years, they need encouragement to develop and maintain active lifestyles. Interventions with girls need to happen while they are still in elementary school to ensure they are healthy and confident entering into their vulnerable and formative teenage years.
These interventions can be more effective if they include boys so the girls do not feel singled out; something all children fear. Supporting girls in a co-ed environment helps minimize self-image deprecation, and can actually help build confidence when a girl succeeds at an activity that is challenging or intimidating, especially in front of their male classmates.
To learn more about CYCLE Kids visit their website and check out their video about confidence and learning the importance of focusing on the task at hand: