DMS Cycles Toward Academic Success

DMS Cycles Toward Academic Success
Posted on 10/04/2018

Dryden Middle School students are learning to safely and confidently ride bikes after receiving the Riding for Focus grant from the Specialized Education Foundation to introduce bicycling into the physical education curriculum.

The goal of the Specialized Education Foundation is to use cycling as a tool for kids to achieve academic, health and social success. The grant gives students the opportunity to ride bikes at school, which ultimately results in better performance in the classroom. Studies show that exercise like bicycling can lessen the effects of ADHD by prompting positively altered brain activity, increased attentions spans and boosted moods.

The middle school received 25 bikes through the grant, which are being used both indoors and outdoors during physical education classes. Students are learning how to safely ride, turn, use traffic signals and cross streets. A “road test” will be administered later in the year for students to show they have mastered these skills.

Dryden students’ most common response as to why they don’t ride bicycles regularly is that there aren’t many safe and open areas in town for them to do so. Because of the Riding for Focus grant, students are now able to ride bicycles safely in the gym, the school parking lot and eventually the trails behind Dryden Central School District. 

“The students are loving it, there’s a lot of excitement about the bikes. They are working hard and developing skills that they can use for the rest of their lives,” said Dryden Middle School Physical Education Teacher Janine Bennett.

Bennett was proud to report that after two weeks of teaching the new curriculum in her physical education classes, three students without previous experience riding bikes are now confidently learning the skill.

After the middle school’s success with bicycling, Dryden High School decided to purchase bikes and incorporate the same curriculum into their physical education classes to promote similar health and academic benefits.

Seth rides his bicycle at school.
Seth Forsgren waves to the camera while he rides his bike during gym class at Dryden Middle School.