Chaboya Middle School has received 50 youth bicycles, helmets and biometric tools as part of The Specialized Foundation, Riding for Focus program. Riding for Focus is a physical education curriculum designed to introduce students to cycling's positive effects on academics, health, and well-being. The research has shown benefits for all students, with notable results for youth with learning differences such as ADHD. The curriculum has been built based on third party research organization that studied the impact of cycling on middle school students.
"This donation is exciting because it enables us to enhance our physical education program and provide our students with a lifelong skill while also developing proper life time fitness habits that primes the brain for academic success, it is this combination of fitness and academics that we found particularly interesting," says Derrick Watkins, Chaboya's principal.
Chaboya students in Chris Connolly's P.E. class will pilot the new cycling program this spring. "All our P.E. teachers are enthusiastic about the new program and have completed a professional safe cycling skills training last fall so they are ready to teach biking and bike safety as a standard unit in their P.E. classes," explains Watkins.
It all started with a vision that Chaboya 8th grader Aiden Theocheung had last year as part of his Boy Scout Eagle Scout project.While on the soccer field, Aiden was telling Al Ventura, Chaboya assistant principal and athletic director how applying for a grant from The Specialized Foundation would help provide the P.E. curriculum in addition to the bicycles and gear for cycling classes at school. The Chaboya administration and P.E. teachers met to gauge interest and support in adding cycling to their physical education classes. "At first we thought this would be a tough challenge to support and implement, but the more we studied the program, the more we learned how well structured and safe the turnkey program was, and we found it especially rewarding for both the students and the staff," says Chris Connolly.
In February Chaboya's Assistant Principal, Sara Spacek and the school's P.E. teachers along with several scouts from Boy Scout Troop 251, met after school at Specialized Bicycle Components in Morgan Hill on four different days to assemble the bikes that were delivered to the school to a happy group of students who enjoyed the first ride.