May Change for Change Recipient: Springfield Honors Academy Bicycle Cooperative Program
Although Springfield has over 155,000 residents, there is not a single brick-and-mortar bicycle shop in the city. Given that bicycles offer exercise, recreation, and transportation for students and their families, this poses a series of problems. Without a bicycle shop, there is no location to properly inflate tires, have a flat repaired, a broken chain replaced, or a cable adjusted. Furthermore, bicycles require proprietary tools in order to complete many common repairs.
SHA Bicycle Cooperative Program
This program aims to serve a set of ambitious, yet attainable goals. The campus bicycle shop would be structured as a bicycle cooperative, a model that emphasizes member empowerment, democratic participation in decision-making and management, and community involvement. Through a cooperative structure, this program aims to:
- Provide free or low-cost bicycles to student participants and their family
members, along with the equipment and training they need to be safe on the road.
- Train students in advanced, employable bicycle mechanics skills in a professional-grade shop space. By the end of the pilot 2021-2022 school year, the program aims to provide two classes per full school week, training an invested cohort of students how to completely disassemble and reassemble a variety of types of bicycles.
- Establish community pride through pioneering a unique, forward-thinking model for empowering student members to solve community problems.
- Divert waste in the community by collecting repairable bicycles that would otherwise be scrapped or sent to a landfill. The program aims to receive a minimum of 70 donated bicycles in its pilot 2021-2022 school year, to be repaired or used for parts to repair other bicycles.