Grantee Spotlight: SEK Interlocal #637’s Bike for Success Program

Did you know SEK Interlocal #637 provides a specialized instructional program to students from across the 13 school districts it serves?

Located at USD 250 Pittsburg Community Middle School (PCMS), this specialized program provides instruction to a small number of students with significant disabilities requiring a high student/staff ratio utilizing individualized, developmentally appropriate, non-traditional instruction.

Students learn to Bike for Success

PCMS Autism Program special education teacher Carlie Caldwell submitted a proposal and was selected to receive grant funds to grow their “Bike for Success” program through the Elm Acres Foundation competitive grant process in 2021.

The funded grant provided stationary bikes, mobile tricycles, safety helmets, safety straps for mobile bikes, and street signs to teach safety. This needed equipment helps students understand and manage their own behavior and reactions. It provides them an opportunity to develop and practice self-regulation.

Students utilize the adaptive stationary and mobile tricycles to achieve a “just-right” energy level for learning. Short brain breaks allow students the time to reset and return to the learning environment with a more regulated system.

PCMS student sitting on a tricycle as part of the Bike for Success program.
The Bike for Success program teaches self-regulation.

The importance of self-regulation

Self-regulation directly correlates with health and well-being, which in turn encourages positive learning habits and behaviors and increases the capacity for learning.

Students with disabilities often experience difficulties with self-regulation. These skill deficits can appear across disability categories, i.e., specific learning disabilities, Autism, or ADHD.

Self-regulation is defined as the ability to monitor and manage energy states, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that are acceptable. Self-regulation helps produce positive outcomes such as well-being, loving relationships, and learning.

The “Bike for Success” program has created an opportunity to teach these strategies to the students attending the PCMS Autism program, helping them to develop these important skills. Using self-regulated learning, students can spend more time learning and take responsibility for managing their own behaviors.

Bike for Success program results

Students’ ability to self-regulate is monitored through direct observation and can be used to correlate to Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals and measure progress. Students have increased their street safety knowledge, improved their riding skills, been more active, and been in a positive learning environment more often due to self-regulation thanks to the ‘Bike for Success’ program.

On behalf of the Elm Aces Foundation, “hats off” to Carlie, the PCMS Autism Program staff, USD 250 PCMS, and SEK Interlocal #637. You inspire us!

SEK Interlocal #637 logo
Elm Acres Foundation logo