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OMS receives grant for 30 bicycles

The Oswego Middle School was recently awarded a grant to supply its physical education program with a fleet of up to 30 bicycles.
OMS is just one of two schools throughout New York State that received The Specialized Foundation’s 2018-2019 Riding for Focus program award, which also came with access to program curriculum, training, a starter maintenance kit and helmets to ensure the students’ utmost safety.
Physical education teacher Patrick Bond wrote the grant, with guidance from Principal Mary Beth Fierro, in hopes of enhancing the PE program with a unique twist. He and technology teacher Eric McCrobie produced a video for the foundation, which detailed how the program would be implemented.
The curriculum provides both physical and social fitness and wellness, as it will teach students to ride, enhance riding abilities for current bike users and practice teamwork on group rides. Bond said the existing nature trails on school grounds will be perfect for a riding trail.
“Research shows through exercise and activity that (student) performance will increase in the classroom and that’s where this whole thing is going,” he said. “It’s something different and hopefully it will stimulate their brains.”
OMS will help collect data for the foundation with provided heart rate monitors for the program’s first two years and then the equipment will be OMS’ to keep for years to come. Bond said Ride for Focus will occur in six-week sessions, beginning in the fall and again in the spring.
Fierro said this grant is the first of its kind for the middle school and she is excited to see the program take off. Bond has already thought about forming a bike club, before or after the school day. His ability to think ahead of the curve and expose the students to a lifelong sport will be rewarding, she said.
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