bicycleworks8

byteworkskids

bworks39

bikeworksHR3

kellynkids

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bworks is growing again and looking to add to our incredible staff!

We have two part time positions, or one full time position for the right candidate. Both positions are up to 20 hours per week, Starting at $20/hr.Please check out the job descriptions at the links below and feel free to email us with any questions. 

Teacher Position  

Mechanic Position  

An open letter to Circuit Attorney Gore concerning escalating traffic violence in St. Louis

May 2, 2024

Greetings, Circuit Attorney Gore:

Last week, when news broke of nine-year-old Codi Walker being tragically pinned between two vehicles by a reckless, hit-and-run pickup truck driver — right beside a playground in St. Louis’ Baden neighborhood as Codi helped his mother unload a toy from their correctly parked van — community members cried out, pleading for real action and change. This outcry included members of our youth-focused nonprofit organization.

While our decades-long focus on bike education for the children and teens of St. Louis is, and should always be, full of joy (we get to witness hundreds of local youth every year gain lifelong skills and empowerment through our free Learn-To-Ride and Earn-A-Bike programs), we are deeply troubled to see yet another child harmed on area streets, in crosswalks, on sidewalks, and yes, even just trying to access a playground, as in this recent case.

BWorks exists to inspire children to pursue their dreams, care for the world around them, and explore new possibilities through experiential learning. But when a family or child cannot access the outdoors, or school, reasonably safely due to traffic violence, fulfillment of that mission becomes difficult indeed.

The human carnage on city streets continues to escalate, leading to increasingly frequent injury and death. St. Louisans increasingly feel deeply and reasonably anxious about everything from daily travel to work and school to simply accessing green spaces for much-needed refuge and fun within our communities. Driver behavior has become more and more shocking, violent and damaging.

It’s going to take a wide variety of efforts, from education to enforcement to infrastructure, to curb this crisis. BWorks is doing our part, and even growing our efforts and our team at present on behalf of St. Louis youth. Community members are doing their part, supporting victim after victim through GoFundMe efforts. And victims themselves, such as courageous Janae Edmondson, have gone above and beyond to speak out about the injustices, trauma and systemic neglect they have experienced.

We need your partnership, too, and are writing to urge our local courts and prosecutors to consistently and firmly hold reckless drivers accountable for the consequences of their actions on St. Louis streets. St. Louis BWorks recognizes that along with designing safer streets and educating road users, better outcomes require that those operating motor vehicles in an unsafe manner must be motivated to do better. That includes holding them accountable for doing otherwise. We must no longer tolerate the inhumane driver behavior that is endangering innocent children including Janae and Codi and so many others, and all of us, day after day after day.

Thank you for your important work on behalf of the citizens of St. Louis. We are happy to talk further.

Sincerely,

Patrick Van Der Tuin, executive director, Evie Hemphill, programs director

Meet Maddie, a SLU student and volunteer Learn-To-Ride and Earn-A-Bike champion

The BWorks crew would like to take a moment to celebrate Saint Louis University psychology student Maddie Robb, who has been volunteering her time and expertise with us in an incredible way this spring semester.

As part of a capstone course for her psychology graduation requirements at SLU, Maddie chose BWorks as a human services provider with which to volunteer significant time throughout the semester. Like so many of our incredible helpers, she has gone above and beyond for BWorks, and we are so grateful! All told, she’s worked with 10 different groups of Learn-To-Ride and Earn-A-Bike students. That is an incredible investment in the youth of St Louis.

We recently asked Maddie to reflect on her amazing efforts at BWorks (which continue!). She told us that when she was looking at recommended volunteer sites on SLU’s website, BWorks immediately stood out.

“I love working with kids, and biking was a huge part of my childhood — and is still a big part of my life — so volunteering at a place like BWorks seemed like a perfect fit,” she explained.

Maddie said she’s appreciated how each week’s Earn-A-Bike lesson builds on the week prior, developing skills that students will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

“It is really cool to see how engaged students are when taking part in activities like helmet decorating, tire patching, and taking apart and rebuilding the bikes,” Maddie said. “I have also enjoyed learning more about bikes alongside the students. For example, while assisting with one of the Earn-a-Bike classes, I learned that the first bikes ever created were made out of wood!”

As she’s helped coach groups of Learn-To-Ride students over the past four months, one moment looking back that really stands out to her is the first time she saw a student go from being unable to ride a bike to being confident enough to pedal all by themselves.

“We had been working on gliding all day, and this student had been working so hard on getting used to not looking down and being able to balance enough to earn their pedals,” Maddie recalled. “It was exciting to see the moment everything clicked and they were ready to try pedaling. It was even more exciting to see them pedal successfully and see how enthusiastic they were about the prospect of now being able to bike to school!”

She added that the whole experience has also had her thinking back to her own journey as a child, learning to ride a bike.

“I can remember how difficult going from having training wheels to not having them was. I definitely think I would have learned how to ride a bike much faster if I had learned how to balance without training wheels first!”

Maddie described her time with BWorks as a big highlight of every week — so much so that we may not have to say goodbye just yet as she looks toward her next school year at SLU.

“After seeing the impact BWorks has on its students, my passion for working collaboratively with others to make a difference in my community has only grown,” she said. “This volunteer experience has taught me so much and volunteering at BWorks has been so fun that I hope to continue to volunteer at BWorks next semester as well!”

(Maddie is in the back row on the left)

Earn-A-Bike alum, now in college, returns to City Garden to ride with current students

These nine students got a special treat as part of their graduation ride day on Tuesday: getting to meet and ride with Ethan Stevenson, a BWorks Earn-A-Bike alumnus who was himself a City Garden Montessori School elementary student more than a decade ago. He has fond memories of his own participation in the free program back in the day.

“I remember being so eager to learn about bikes, and BWorks gave me the opportunity to not only learn but give me the confidence to work on my own bike,” he recalls.

Ethan, who is now a college student in Indianapolis, stopped by BWorks’ bike shop some months back and had a chance to reconnect with the BWorks team. When we told him we planned to have yet another group of City Garden Earn-A-Bikers graduating just in time for his winter-break trip home from college, he eagerly agreed to join us as a ride-day volunteer.

And so on December 19, in addition to getting to triumphantly ride their newly refurbished bikes, enjoy hot cocoa and then take home locks, lights and helmets in addition to these cherished machines, City Garden fourth graders got the special surprise of interacting and riding bikes with Ethan. Ethan also got to reconnect with one of his former City Garden teachers who is still teaching at the school — and still remembers him well.

Some of the bike crew made it as far as Tower Grove Park and back, with Ethan helping lead the ride on neighborhood streets.

“I was amazed to see the same eagerness in all nine of those kids — the same as when I was in their shoes,” Ethan says. “I’m glad to see that this program is still around and hopefully it is for many years to come!”

Ethan tells us he still looks back on the multi-week Earn-A-Bike program he participated in (and later his younger brother, also at City Garden) as a highlight of his childhood. Even better? He’s still riding bikes!

Big thanks to Ethan for joining us for the reunion and proving to be a great ride helper now as an adult! And kudos to all of our volunteers, staff, donors, partners, parents and students during this holiday season. You continue to amaze us!