The shop is an ever-changing sea of faces. This summer, we again have kids coming from surrounding communities–up to a mile away–to earn bikes. Bikes help kids gain mobility and learn useful mechanical skills, but most importantly, we love investing in these youth, getting to know them, and connect them with others in the community. Here are a few things happening right now in the life of the shop: Over the past two months, we have had a few young men step up and begin to lead and recruit new kids from surrounding neighborhoods to come and earn bikes at the shop. Not only are they becoming shop leaders, modeling hard work and good behavior, and connecting with our volunteers as they learn bike repair skills, but they’re developing pride in their talents.
We’re passionate about great education in the lives of our kids. This year, we’re helping a friend get her son to and from a great charter school every day (he’s already back to school), get his homework done nightly, and find work on the weekends. We’re watching this fifth grader work hard and learn how to function and thrive in a disciplined setting. In this past year at Kipp Strive, he’s already improved two grade levels in reading. We look forward to the day when all of Adair Park’s kids will be in quality charter schools.
Why do these things matter? We love talking about the great things happening at the shop, but the reason they are so great is because southwest Atlanta is still a place where 10-year-olds witness shootings, young children lose their dads to homicide, and crime is literally in their backyards. The streets are constantly luring them to a life of crime, violence and laziness, and the best defense against that is positive influences, right here in their neighborhood.