Positive Spin Brings Youth Cycling to Obama Academy

Positive Spin Gears Up for a New Season

BikePGH has recently taken a few big steps with our education program, Positive Spin. Due to high demand from students and staff of Barack Obama Academy of International Studies 6-12, Positive Spin has expanded to be a school-sponsored club with the high school students. This is a great opportunity for all parties involved. With recent infrastructure improvements happening within the area surrounding Obama, it is a great time to get the youth out riding and acclimated to all the changes. This will also provide the youth a platform to voice their opinions on all the changes in the area.

“Positive Spin is such a fabulous resource.  I’m thrilled to be able to bring a bicycling program to Obama students and to know that they are learning about safety, responsibility, and cooperation, all while having fun.“

~Donna Hetrick // Visual Art Teacher, Obama Academy

The program at Obama Academy so far is a great success after three weeks into programming. Students have gotten their first few days of on-bike training down and out of the way. The first full day was very productive. The youth were very involved in the classroom instruction which made the transition from learning safety rules to the “fun” part (biking) that much easier!

The first few sessions of Positive Spin bike training focuses on the basics of effective communication, braking, shifting and bike handling. More importantly, we get to gauge the youth on their level of confidence when not just riding the bike, but riding in a group setting both on trails and in bike lanes or shared roads. As the Education Program Coordinator, I am happy and confident to say that due to their ability to learn on top of their urge to get out on the bikes and put those miles in, this group will do just fine in pioneering our transition deeper into the PPS system.

In all with week 2 being a first full day of the program and how much progress we made as a whole, I feel this is going be a really successful year. With all the infrastructure changes happening especially within the range of the school, it feels really good to get into a centered location and get info, resources, and overall knowledge of all of the changes out to the community directly through the youth residing in the area. I have no doubt that each youth in the program will come out knowledgeable and confident in their ability to commute in our ever-changing bike and pedestrian friendly city.

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