Tools for Life:
A Start-Up Guide for Youth Recycling & Bicycling Programs
Start by clearly defining the goals of your project. The beauty of
bicycle education projects is the versatility of the concept. Depending
on the ultimate mission of your organization, your project may focus its
attention on one or more of the following areas:
- Youth training in
- Safety education
- Community service
- Small business
- Youth leadership
It's easy enough to set a goal. A much harder task is to measure your
progress toward it. Once you've determined the direction, or strategy of
your project, identify the objectives by which to evaluate your
performance and determine the project's success. It's important for
donors and members, as well as project staff, to have concrete evidence
on which to base criticism and plan improvement.
Here's an example of how this works in reality: A goal may be set
which states that children receive training in mechanics and develop
their capacity to diagnose and solve problems. The strategy is to offer
a course in bike repair and maintenance; the objectives are to a) train
sixty 8th graders in this course for the school year, and b) repair 180
bicycles in the classes.
Another goal may be for a group of children to receive an education
in business. The strategy is to simulate a retail bike shop in class.
The objectives are to a) have a class of twenty 8th graders devise a
business plan, b) open and operate the shop throughout the year, and c)
sell 100 bikes. The opportunities for variation are tremendous! A word
of caution: start small. Choose one goal and work to achieve it. In this
way you remain focused and gain the confidence and support of those
around you. Once this happens you are in the best position to develop
and take on new goals.