George Harvey Collegiate high school has a new classroom devoted to bikes, bike repair and bike maintenance. We recently worked with Colin O’Connor, a TDSB teacher who is leading this program and teaching the course, to source the tools and set up the work stations. The course is part of their tech program.
This is the third program of its kind (that we are aware of) to be offered by the TDSB. The first was built at Central Commerce Collegiate in 2012.
The second, was built at Eastdale Collegiate in 2015, which we also sourced the tools for and consulted with Marcus Duboulay, the TDSB teacher who leads that program, on the design.
Having worked with the teachers on building the shops for the programs, their desire and drive to teach the children something useful and different from what is offered in the standard program is remarkable and inspiring. The teachers have seen that this is a way to offer children a new, and often life changing, class.
These programs are a great way to engage kids who might not be overly interested in the traditional courses offered. Not only do they learn to repair bikes, a practical skill they can use daily, but they also learn the science behind what makes a bicycle function. They learn to safely ride to school and how they can repair the bikes of friends and family in the neighborhood, which of course, positively influences the greater community.
And, as many of us also know, the positive mental and physical health attributes of a life with bicycles is perhaps the greatest, most life changing, asset.