Frequently Asked Questions
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How can my school get involved?
Applications for the 2017/2018 school year are now closed. If you would like to learn more about a Spring 2018 program, and receive continued updates and program news, click here to subscribe to The Specialized Foundation newsletter.
What does the application process entail?
There are three phases to the application process:
Phase One: Motivation
First, we want to understand your school's motivations for wanting to bring a cycling program to your school. How do you think it will help your school? How do you think your school can advance the mission of the Specialized Foundation? Only schools selected in the first round will be asked to move on to Phase Two of the application process.
Phase Two: Organizational Capacity/Success Criteria
We want to make sure your school is set up for success, and part of that is making sure you have the right infrastructure and people in place to help it succeed. Only schools selected in this round will be asked to move on to the third and final phase of the application process. Learn more about Success Criteria before applying.
Phase Three: Program Proposal
Final schools will be asked to submit a proposal for how they intend to run a cycling program at their school that meets the Specialized Foundation's mission and the Riding for Focus goals.
What does a successful applicant look like?
Successful applicants will share the Specialized Foundation's view that physical activity is a key aspect of a student's achievement. Additionally, schools should be committed to the development and sharing of best practices that assure continuous improvement of the program and to maximize program benefits and outcomes. The schools must commit to running the program for at least two years. They'll also have the appropriate administrative approval, infrastructure for housing the equipment, and have a dedicated and enthusiastic program champion who will serve as point of contact for the Foundation, travel to the Foundation's training events, and be responsible for the program's implementation.
What does the Riding For Focus program entail?
Riding for Focus is designed to provide middle schools with everything they need to get their sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students riding. The program includes bikes, safety equipment, and training. Selected schools should be prepared to run the program a minimum of three-days-per-week, with a target of four-days-per-week (weather permitting).
The program is typically conducted over a minimum of a six-week period, although we recommend going longer, and the curriculum begins by reviewing bike safety and skills. It then moves into the core program content that's focused on individualized training plans for the students. And while the curriculum reviews basic safety and bike skills, Riding for Focus is not designed to teach students to ride. If you're interested in teaching students to ride, check out some of these other fantastic programs: Cycle Kids, Safe Routes to School, and NICA.
What do I get if my school is selected?
Selected schools receive extensive support, training, and equipment, with the aim of creating a lasting cycling program in each school. The Specialized Foundation will equip your school with key tools to help implement this in a sustainable way. The 2017-18 Riding for Focus program includes:
- Program Curriculum: Your school will receive a flexible, turn-key curriculum specifically designed to meet national standards for physical education classes.
- Curriculum Training: We award a trip to the Specialized HQ in Morgan Hill, California, for one of your core team to receive curriculum training. Schools can send additional representatives at their expense, space permitting. The training is scheduled for the first week of August.
- Equipment & Maintenance: The Riding for Focus grant will supply up to a 20 bikes and helmets, along with the option to supplement the fleet as needed. A starter maintenance kit and services are provided for the first year, although schools should plan to budget for maintenance for subsequent years.
What about schools that geographically aren’t conducive to cycling?
Our vision is to make cycling accessible in all schools, but we understand that there are challenges to achieving that. We look forward to working with individual schools to overcome obstacles, whether they're climate-related, based on the location of the school, or others that we haven't even thought of yet.