Learning how bicycles operate, and understanding how to repair them, can be key to helping students explore different educational pathways.
The Rainy River District School Board is trying to promote these lessons through its new “Techways Program” that will teach Grade 7 and 8 students about the basics of bike mechanics.
The program is geared towards getting kids more involved in the trades, carpentry, and mechanics to make them more likely to take those types of classes in high school.
“Right now we're trying to get students more involved in tech as a pathway,” said program co-ordinator Marlon Douglas.
“It's about exposing students to basic skills and trades that are available to them so that when they get to the high school, they will be more than willing to take a course in auto mechanics or carpentry,” he noted.
“It is similar to a program that they have in Kenora,” Douglas added.
Since 2013, Beaver Brae High School in Kenora has offered credits to students entering Grade 9 who fix bicycles for the “Triple Play” charity there.
The local board now is looking to take a similar approach by collecting used and damaged bicycles, fixing them up, and re-purposing them.
Bikes in working condition, or ones that have broken chains, dents, flat tires, damaged pedals, and other issues, are welcome to the program.
People who have bikes they can donate are asked to bring them to the RRDSB office on Second Street East here.
“Looking at it right now, we have gotten some donations so far and we are appreciative of that,” Douglas said.
“I'm not sure how many bikes we can get, but we are hoping that people will come forward and support the program,” he added.
If the program receives a high number of bikes, Douglas said the board will look at possibly sending them to individuals in need.
He is grateful to anyone in the district who is able to contribute to the program's success.
“You're giving back in so many ways,” Douglas lauded.
“If you sit and think about it, it's not just the education piece but, yes, that is what we are focusing on.”
Those looking to have their bike picked up, or would like to learn more about the program, can call 274-9855 ext. 5020 or visit www.tinyurl.com/techway-rrdsb