The Advantage of Biking Early and Often for Kids with Learning Differences
Sand Hill teachers regularly demonstrate the real meaning of passion and dedication.
Mr. Maslan wakes up early three days a week to provide students with an opportunity that most middle schoolers don’t have. As the leader of our Riding for Focus Program, Mr. Maslan provides opportunities for students to learn self-regulation and attention skills through bike riding. He’s happy to report that students are now certified as ‘road ready,’ having developed their riding skills and shifting focus to the exercise benefits of riding. Showing true commitment and grit, students are now going for 40-60 minute bike rides three days a week while monitoring their cadence and heart rate to ensure they are in their training zone. Soon, the team will be heading to Arastradero Preserve for a trail ride.
Our parent community is very thankful for Mr. Maslan’s efforts. Dave Welsh reports how well his son Ridgeley, a 6th grader at Sand Hill, took to the program. When asked what was so encouraging about Riding for Focus, he said, “While waking up an hour earlier on biking days had its challenges, Ridge was always excited and ready to go on every biking adventure. He was never late and never missed an outing. Sleeping was also a lot easier as he was burning a lot of energy.”
Meg Saint-Loubert-Bie, whose daughter Gabby is a 7th grader at Sand Hill, reports that Riding for Focus has been great because Gabby hasn’t had the opportunity for school based sports in the past. Meg also commented on the lack of bicycle safety training in the community, and she’s happy that Gabby received proper “road readiness” safety training. A third family commented that the program has helped with real life matters as well, including the logistics involved in getting bikes to and from school.
Mr. Maslan’s passion for biking is catching on with our student body: there is now a wait list for the program.
Dave Welsh summed it up nicely when he said, “When the program was winding down I asked Ridge if he noticed any differences in his ability to focus in class on biking days. “Yes,” he said, “I notice that I’m not as fidgety, which makes it easier to pay attention!”