SCHOOL PROGRAM

Riding for Focus

 
 

We all want our kids to grow up happy, fulfilled, and equipped for success. Because of ADHD, however, many kids have a hard time concentrating in class.
The Specialized Foundation is determined to turn that around by using cycling as a tool for students to achieve academic, health, and social success. Over the past few years, we've brought this concept to life by working with schools across the United States through our Riding for Focus program.  Riding for Focusexplores and tracks how cycling can positively affect student learning, health, and wellbeing with a focus for those with learning differences such as ADHD.

The school-based program is designed to provide schools with everything they need to get middle school students riding, including a turnkey physical education curriculum,  comprehensive teacher training, and a fleet of bike and safety equipment. But the program is more than just bikes and gear—Riding for Focus provides a combination of cycling, fitness, and academic performance, all while instilling a lifelong passion for cycling for students who participate in the program.

Want to learn more about Riding for Focus? Watch the video and read below.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Program Goals: 3:20:6

 
 

The goal of the program is for students to ride a minimum of 20 minutes, at a moderate to vigorous intensity, for a minimum of 3 days/week for at least 6-8 weeks.  Schools should be prepared to run the school program to enable this goal of minimum three days/week, with a target of four days/week (weather permitting).

  • Measurable improvements in academic performance, fitness, and behavior
  • Long term social and health outcomes
  • Reduction in core symptoms of ADHD
The best success about the program is that riding bikes is instilling confidence in the kids and teaching lessons in overcoming barriers. I even became more confident with the bike…I was just like a kid riding flat pedals in Vans shoes and teaching, not as an expert, but someone learning to ride, learning all about derailleurs and cogs and the kids could relate to that.
— Jo Giordano, School champion, Evergreen Community Charter School, Asheville, NC
 
 

PROGRAM PRINCIPLES

 
 

After conducting pilot studies across the country, the Specialized Foundation team determined some keys to success that now represent the core principles of the Riding for Focus School Program:

SAFE: The school program must always prioritize the SAFETY of everyone involved.

FUN: The school program should always strive to be FUN for all students.

FITNESS: The goal of the program is for students to ride a minimum of 20 minutes, at a moderate to vigorous intensity, for a minimum of 3 days/week for at least 6-8 weeks.

SUCCESS: Award effort not performance. Success is determined by the effort put forth by each individual.

INDEPENDENCE: Encourage student independence. The school program is most successful with high rates of student engagement and involvement. For example, students who participate in route planning, bike maintenance, and personal training programs tend to feel more motivated and connected to the program goals.

CONFIDENCE: Build student confidence in achieving fitness goals and increasing independence with bike maintenance.