Adolescent Bicyclists as Leaders Education
At the intersection of students and bicycling exists an opportunity to develop leadership, community, and independence among students who seek to find a balance between individuality and engagement with their world. Bicycles represent movement, mobility, health, interaction, empathy, autonomy, and enhanced awareness - all essential leadership skills.
Tulsa Hub is the only organization in Tulsa using bicycles to cultivate these leadership skills with this age group, especially with students living in low-opportunity communities. In initiating the ABLE project - Adolescent Bicyclists as Leaders Education - we seek to develop a curriculum which empowers students to cultivate leadership skills while emphasizing diversity, inclusion, respect, and a positive perception of physical activity through the lens of bicycling.
Our curriculum combines functional bicycling knowledge with social inclusion and equity awareness. We begin by teaching students the basics of the bicycle itself: bicycling law, basic mechanical and safety skills, and route mapping. We then integrate personal and interpersonal components: body positivity, healthy view of physical activity, and social inclusion and diversity. We will use the experiences of students to shape and inform the direction of the program by listening to their stories and ideas and working with them to develop a capstone project.
In the fall of 2016 we began a programmatic relationship with Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences, a school serving a population of students of which over 50% qualify for free or reduced lunch. We work with 7th and 8th grade students over the course of the trimester and are able to explore the curriculum in the surrounding communities of Crosbie Heights, Owen Park, Downtown Tulsa, the Brady Arts District, and Riverparks.