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Apply now to bring the Specialized Riding for Focus Cycling Program to a school near you

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We all know that feel when you finish a ride. You feel better physically, your mind is clear, you’re alert and ready to tackle what comes next. It should come as no surprise then that the same benefits that riding provides to adults, are equally beneficial to children and teenagers – maybe even more so. In 2016, Specialized launched their Riding for Focus program which ended up reaching around 1,000 kids around the United States.

Using riding as part of the curriculum, the Riding for Focus program adds needed exercise to their school day, but has also proven to a positive effect on students with ADHD which inspired the hashtag #pedalsoverpills. The results have been validated through a partnership with Stanford University as part of a multi-year research program.

Now, the time has come for schools to apply for the 2017-2018 Riding for Focus program by the Specialized  Foundation. Open to grades 6-9, selected schools will receive a cycling focused curriculum along with support, training, and all of the necessary equipment to create their own cycling program for at least two years. The Specialized Foundation is accepting applications now, full details after the break…

From Specialized:

MORGAN HILL, Calif., February 27, 2017—The Specialized Foundation has opened applications for their cycling program, Riding for Focus, to middle schools (grades 6-9) throughout the USA for the 2017-18 academic year. The application period is open now through March 24th.

The selected schools will receive a cycling curriculum, designed to national PE standards, plus support, training, and equipment to create a lasting cycling program in that school. Specifically, the schools will receive the Riding for Focus program curriculum, a fleet of bikes and helmets to support their PE cycling program, a starter maintenance kit, and a trip to Specialized Headquarters in Morgan Hill, CA for program curriculum training. Each school applying is asked to provide a Program Champion that will lead the program at their school and can sustain the program for a minimum of two years. An optional additional day will be available to join in on the Riding for Focus Research Summit hosted in cooperation with Stanford Medicine.

“In 2016, the Riding for Focus program reached 1000 students nationwide. We are excited to scale the program even further with the goal of tripling our reach in 2017, said Ted Theocheung, CEO of The Specialized Foundation. By partnering with the academic research and the community to define and implement the program, we have seen tremendous enthusiasm and support of the program champions, administrators, parents and especially the students; we will be able to reach our goal to positively impact many more children’s lives.”

The Specialized Foundation’s Riding for Focus school program is designed to introduce students to cycling’s positive effects on academic performance, health, and wellbeing, with a focus on students with learning differences such as ADHD. The curriculum has been built based on research done by a third-party research organization that studied the impact of cycling on middle school students.

The research gathered is based on two comprehensive studies focused on two segments. The first was the positive impact of cycling for children with ADHD through classroom performance and behavioral improvement. The second was based on the improvement of Standardized Test Scores for students that participated in the bike program versus students that did not. Recently, The Specialized Foundation partnered with Stanford University to further research the positive effects of cycling for children. Stanford recently added their post-doc candidate to lead the multi-year research program.

Mike Sinyard, Specialized Founder and CEO, stated, “At Specialized, we are a company of riders and have each been transformed through cycling in one way or another. The Specialized Foundation, and its Riding for Focus program, are our ways to contribute to future generations and do our part to create a healthier world for our children.”

Specialized.com

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7 Comments
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Colin
Colin
5 years ago

I like riding my Focus, I did not like riding my Specialized…

Flatbiller
Flatbiller
5 years ago
Reply to  Colin

Classy. A post about helping kids out…classy, very classy.

Champs
Champs
5 years ago
Reply to  Flatbiller

Specialized is a bicycle company. ADHD is a health issue. To a hammer, all the world’s a nail. I guess what I’m saying is that the cause is noble, but that’s separate from the specifics of a foundation that presupposes the problems of a condition and prescribes bicycles as a solution. It is not a sacred cow.

If now is not the time for snark, what about when the Specialized Riding for Focus Cycling Program holds an event like the Giant Trek to Marin or Raleigh Time Trial?

JasonK
JasonK
5 years ago
Reply to  Champs

You’re misinformed. ADHD kids are substantially overrepresented in endurance sports, especially cycling, swimming and running. Greg Lemond has commented on how, as an ADHD kid, his training rides were essentially self-medication.

Other posters have pointed out that there are many other similar programs to encourage kids to exercise as a way to treat their ADHD. So this is not randomly applying bicycles to an unrelated problem.

Colin
Colin
5 years ago

I actually volunteer 12+ hours a week, year round, for a youth cycling program that helps 400+ kids a year. There are countless other programs that do the same thing, why wouldn’t the big S send money or product to established programs rather than start their own.

I do partially agree with them after seeing how many kids with behavioral issues are helped with regular physical activity, but those issues do not start at grade 6 and end at grade 9, The Specialized program does.

I guess this is another “innovate or die” situation, copy existing ideas and try to pass them off as your own.

mike
mike
5 years ago

They have been supporting this research for quite a number of years, this isn’t some fly by night PR opportunity

Casey
Casey
5 years ago

Say what you want about their bikes, their marketing strategies, their bulldog lawyering (none of which I like) but this program is good.

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