Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION
Elmwood students spin their wheels
The term cycling has taken on a whole new meaning at Elmwood High School.
For the past two years students at the Grade 7 to 12 school have taken part in Community Youth Cycling Leadership Education, or CYCLE.
The program offers participants an opportunity rebuild two bikes — one for themselves and another for someone else in the community.
The program was conceived of by members of the River East Neighbourhood Network’s In Motion Committee, and is offered three times a week for eight weeks.
Up to 12 students take part in each session, working in teams of two at six different work stations.
Last year a number of the refurbished bikes went to Habitat for Humanity families, while this year most of them will go to the school’s phys-ed department.
Grade 8 student Anthony Muzyka said he originally joined the program to get a new bike but has gained so much more from it than that.
"My bike got stolen and I needed a new bike, so I thought I would check the group out," he said.
"Now I’m going to be able to fix up the other three bikes I have and give them to friends."
Kyler Dmytruk, a Grade 9 student at the school, said taking part in the after-school program was a good decision.
"It’s fun, I’m glad I did it," Dmytruk said. "I can take care of my bike more now that I took the class."
Program co-ordinator John Anderson said one of the most rewarding aspects of the program has been seeing students who have gone through it return to offer a hand.
"It’s been great, and it’s nice to have students come back to help because they have the experience," he said.
Anderson said the program wouldn’t be possible without the support of The Winnipeg Repair Education and Cycling Hub, or WRENCH, a non-profit organization that makes bike repair and maintenance accessible to the public.
"WRENCH provides us with bikes, otherwise you have to figure out how to get bikes," he said.
"You could get them off the street, but that’s not really a reliable source."
Grade 8 student Daniel Okenko said he was never much of a joiner when it came to school programs, but CYCLE seemed like a good fit.
"I learned a lot about bikes. Before this I didn’t know how to fix a bike but now I can," Okenko said.
"I think I’ll take part in other groups now."
To celebrate the program a CYCLE carnival will be held Sat., May 12 at the YMCA-YWCA located at 454 Kimberly Ave. from 1 to 3 p.m. The event will include a bike repair station and a bike draw.
For more information call Kirsti at 668-8140.
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(1 of 15 articles for this week)05/22/2013 1:00 AM 0
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