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To build sustainable communities by educating youth and promoting bicycling.
1. YOUTH EDUCATION: EARN A BIKE: Kids, Bikes, & Sweat Equity In our signature Earn-A-Bikeprogram, kids build skills and self-confidence as they work with their hands and learn how to repair bikes. They also experience what it means to give back to their community, as they contribute community service hours refurbishing bikes which are donated to local nonprofits serving disadvantaged populations. After logging 18 hours of community service, kids earn their own bikes and build them with their own hands! In 2005, we offered six EAB classes - two per school quarter. We experimented with all-girls and all-boys classes, which proved successful. YOUTH VENTURES: Ride It Like You Earned It! Our Youth Ventures program keeps youth from our Earn-A-Bike and partnership classes engaged in bicycling. It is not enough to help kids earn bikes and learn to fix them; youth in our programs often come from homes where bicycling is not a common activity; without support and a riding partner, it is difficult to make cycling a part of their regular activities. Our tag-line "Ride It Like You Earned It!" captures the spirit of this program. SUMMER TOURING CAMPS: In 2006 Bike Works launched its first ever bicycle touring summer camp: a one-week, self-support bicycle tour of the San Juan Islands. We developed this program to give our inner-city youth participants the opportunity to experience the natural environment of the Pacific Northwest, and to encourage bicycling as an alternative and fun means of transportation. COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS: Many youth in the neighborhoods we serve don't have opportunities to become involved in after-school activities, and can't attend our regular EAB classes. Our Community Partnerships program connects us with schools and community organizations to reach kids who need us the most: low-income and homeless youth; youth at risk for negative behaviors like drug use and crime; and youth underserved by after-school opportunities.
2. COMMUNITY BIKE SHOP: Each and every bicycle donated, refurbished, and recycled back into the community is one less bike in the landfill, and potentially one less car on the road. Our bike shop sells affordable, refurbished bicycles, and runs entirely on bikes donated from people just like you! One hundred percent of income raised in our shop goes to support youth programming - accounting for over 50% of our annual operating revenue.
3. BICYCLE DISTRIBUTION & EXPORTS: A great deal of our resources and time is dedicated to returning defunct bicycles to the streets of Seattle. After a bicycle is fixed up by an Earn-A-Bike student or a volunteer, it may be repatriated to the community in a number of different ways. FareStart, a restaurant jobs-training program that helps homeless adults turn their lives around, receives Bike Works bikes for each graduate. Additionally, we donate extensively to Treehouse, a resource center for foster families.
- Colina Barlow
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