Middle school class fixes used, broken bikes to give back to community

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LONGMONT, Colo. — A new program at a middle school in Longmont teaches students unique skills and also gives back to their community.

The bicycle repair class at Longs Peak Middle School takes in used bikes, fixes them up, and then gives them to folks in need in their community.

The class was started about a year ago and looks more like a legitimate bike shop than a standard middle school classroom.

School officials say the class is good for students that may be disengaged from school with the hope being that it helps improve attendance.

Teachers at the school have noticed that the students in the class, who are all hand picked by the principal, are much more inclined to show up with an optimistic attitude that ultimately translates to their other classes.

Most of the work they do in class is self taught – the teacher and students both say it’s a trial and error process. The students learn problem solving and technical skills.

“The young men and women who come through this program is at first they will persist through a problem for 30 seconds to a minute but as they spend time here they’re able to really persist through problems for longer,” Instructional Coach Joshua VanAuken said. “We’ll work on a single problem sometimes up to a half hour.”

And the students seem to love it.

“It’s probably the best class in the school, in my opinion,” said Avien Castillo, a student in the class. “I think it’s better to work with something physical instead of stuff on paper.”

The school is accepting bike donations through Dec. 2. They prefer new and used children’s and teen’s bikes and if it’s broken, they will fix it up before donating it.

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