Institute On Family and Neighborhood Life

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Bike Clubs are a program of Building Dreams, a community initiative of the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life at Clemson University.  Building Dreams provides mentoring support to youth who have multiple risk factors: persistent poverty, parental incarceration, and instability in home life.  Building Dreams was founded in 2004 with a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, but currently, Building Dreams receives no federal or state funding. 
  • Bike Clubs are a form of group mentoring and are grounded in the practice of Positive Youth Development.  5-6 adult mentors are recruited for each group.  Criminal background and sex offender registry checks on made on each applicant.  Mentor training is provided to equip adults to work sensitively and effectively with youth participants.   
  • The first bike club was started in the Sterling community in 2010 as a means of providing group mentoring support to middle school kids and opportunities to become active.  Currently, Building Dreams has community-based bike clubs in Sterling and Nicholtown, and a school-based bike club at Berea Middle School.  Guys and girls are part of the groups. 
  • Each bike is assigned to a young person, but stored in a secure location after each ride.  If they remain a consistent member of the group for a year, then the bike becomes theirs and they can take it home.  The groups meet weekly during the summer and twice a month during the school year.  Activities include riding the Swamp Rabbit, going to a park, doing a scavenger hunt on bikes, or a destination ride to locations of interest, such as The S.C. Governors School or the Greenville News.  Bike clubs also take trips on 4 wheels to regional places of interest. 
  • Live Well Greenville is an active partner in helping provide access to healthy food and safe bike routes.  The groups are exposed to community gardens and healthy nutrition.  Whole Foods of Greenville provides healthy snacks for each ride.  Other partners include the YMCA of Greenville, SC Department of Juvenile Justice, Greenville Spinners, REI, Greenville Hospital System, Bon Secours St. Francis, and The Great Escape. 
  • An adult mentor does not have to be a “professional” cyclist.  Anyone who enjoys kids and can ride a bike is welcome to participate.  There is a wide range of riding ability among the kids and the adults. 

 A short bike club video can be viewed at:

Contact Us

Building Dreams
Institute on Family & Neighborhood Life
Clemson University
225 S. Pleasantburg Dr.
Suite B-11
Greenville, SC 29607