Earn-A-Bike is a cornerstone program of the Utica Bike Rescue. Although this is a new program for Central New York, it has successfully run in numerous Cities and States for many years. The program incorporates the successful initiatives and plans implemented by similar organizations into a series of programs aimed to address the needs of low-income individuals and families in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley.
The course lasts 6-8 weeks with students attending twice a week for 90 minutes. Each student completely disassembles a bike in the first 2-4 weeks. In the second 2-4 weeks, they complete the process and rebuild their brand new looking bikes. While there are specific tasks that need to happen, they develop their own sense of time management (hence the variability in class duration) with the reality that they need to finish their bike before the end of the session.
Students receive guided instruction from qualified bicycle mechanics. Upon successful completion of the Skills Checklist, students keep the bike they have built along with a helmet and a lock.
By participating in the Earn-A-Bike program, students:
- Develop mechanical and technical aptitude
- Develop a sense of pride and individual responsibility
- Develop valuable time management skills
- Promote repurposing and recycling of consumer goods
- Engage in a healthier lifestyle
- Learn about traffic safety
- Help combat childhood obesity
- Contribute to pollution prevention
Student-to-Teacher ratio varies with the age and experience of the students. The younger the students, the more instructors are needed. With an ideal class size of 10-12 students, this class can reach upwards of 150 students per year.
Through the Earn-A-Bike program, Utica Bike Rescue inc is able to:
- Provide a pre-vocational training experience, in which students learn the value of participation, productive work, punctuality and dependability.
- Provide a safe, supportive, respective environment for all participants.
- Teach students basic bike mechanics and bike safety skills, and the increased selfsufficiency that comes with having these skills.
- Provide an opportunity for students to earn bicycles through their participation in the program.
- Promote a healthier lifestyle by providing an alternative to sedentary activity.
Earn-A-Bike can be tailored to meet the needs of all students, regardless of age, ability, ethnicity or physical limitation.