Institute On Family and Neighborhood Life
Frequently Asked Questions
For the general public
- 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
- 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: http://www.buildingdreamsmentoring.com/sterling.php
Institute on Family & Neighborhood Life
225 S. Pleasantburg Dr.
Greenville, SC 29607