Bike Club - Joseph C. Briscoe Academy
This past year, the Heart of the School Fund has supported schools’ COVID-friendly projects and site enhancements such as an outdoor classroom, technology to support remote learning, and professional development to enhance the instruction and learning happening in class.
As the new principal of Joseph C. Briscoe Academy (and McMechen High School), Principal Tamika Daniels asked students what they would like to do to promote unity and self-pride--activities that would help ease the current anxiety and low morale that resulted from this pandemic. At the top of the majority of students' lists was re-establishing the school’s Bike Club! Thanks to a discount from Race Pace Bicycles, the Heart of the School Fund was able to provide 5 bikes, helmets, and safety vests that the school intends to use for weekly rides throughout the summer. The club currently has 12 student regulars but they plan to rotate the bikes each week to encourage widespread student participation from both middle and high school.
Mr. Sanders, a middle school Social Studies teacher at JCBA and club advisor, will be donating his time on weekends, leading rides throughout the summer months. Check out what Mr. Sanders had to say about the project:
Regarding student response to the bikes: “Oh they loved them right away! They got on, once I pumped the wheels up, I let them ride [the bikes] the day we got them. They rode around [the school]. They love them. [It’s an] opportunity to get out from behind the computer. [Often] they’re playing video games and go from video games to school on the computer so now it’s all screen time. This is a big opportunity to get off the screen.”
Regarding the route: “Right now we are going to be taking tours of the immediate community, and once [students] get a grasp of the rules and regulations and what I expect from them, the next step would be to visit the reservoir in east Baltimore at Montebello. That’s a very safe area for new learners and we’re going to make sure they have a grasp of their equipment--we’ll put our [safety] vests on and go over all the rules there too once we’re away from school. And then, we’re planning to do the B&A trail at least a couple of times to work our way to the end of summer activity which will be about a 7-mile ride that will start at BWI airport, tour down the B&A trail and culminate in a celebratory lunch."