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4Front Credit Union to Help the Norte Amigos Program Grow

Norte is for happy, healthy, ready to learn kids no matter their ability. We believe in inclusion and that every child should have the opportunity to experience the joy of riding a bicycle.

The Amigos is an educational program that teaches confidence, independence, and bike/pedestrian safety skills to young people with special needs through empowerment, education, and adventure. It started in the spring of 2018 with a successful 4-week pilot program at Oak Park elementary and, thanks to 4Front Credit Union, is growing.

The Amigos operates as an in-school 4-week program, a Wheelhouse-based 6-week program, and a weekly summertime meet-up at the Clubhouse.

Amigos in School and at the Wheelhouse

In addition to our other Safe Routes To School programs, The Great Northern Michigan Bike Train ExperimentThe Bike Mas Project, and Estrellas, the Amigos is another wonderful opportunity to build a healthy, move more culture at school and encourage students to be active, happy, and ready-to-learn.

At school, we use bigger balance bikes and adaptive bikes to teach elementary students coordination and neuromuscular control that is paramount to safe, confident, independent bicycle riding. This fun and stimulating gross motor activity also facilitate academic learning by improving concentration, developing skills of listening and following instructions, as well as fine motor skills like handwriting.

At the Wheelhouse, classes from TBAISD’s Life Skills Center and TBAISD’s Oak Park Elementary will attend 1-2x/week sessions for 4-6 weeks to learn bike/safety skills both in the spring and fall.

Summer Meet-ups

In partnership with 4Front Credit UnionDown Syndrome Association of Northwest Michigan, Disability Network Northwest Michigan, Arts for All Northern Michigan, TBAISD, Lighthouse Rehab Center – the Amigos, a weekly summertime meet-up ride for kids with special needs.

When:

Thursdays 6-7pm starting the 3rd week of June and rolling through the summer.

Where:

At the Norte Clubhouse

Who:

All awesome young people and their families are welcome no matter their ability.

What:

We’ll ride bikes on the Civic Center path or our special course by the Clubhouse. We’ll make new friends and probably eat some SNACKS, too!

We’ll have volunteers helping to keep the kids safe but parents are encouraged to ride with their child as well.

BYO-picnic is encouraged as eating in La Plaza, the grassy area next to the Clubhouse after the Amigos is lovely.

Should we bring our own bike?

Yes! Your helmet, too. We’ll have a bunch of bigger balance bikes to try and hope to have some adaptive bikes available to demo as well.

Sounds awesome. Do we need to sign up?

Nope. No charge either. Just come to the Clubhouse. Bring a friend or three too.

Love this! How can I help?

We need volunteers! Get involved HERE.

Or maybe you have a tricycle or other adaptive bike we can borrow or rent for the summer? Let us know at hello@elgruponorte.org