Naperville North Riding for Focus in the Midwest

Photo Credit: Brad Hill

Photo Credit: Brad Hill

What happens when a local non-profit works non-stop with their local community to get more kids on bikes, raises funds for the purchase and has the support of the local retailer to build and maintain them?

Score!—Riding for Focus is launched at Naperville North.

 A huge shout out to The Naperville Parks Foundation and Spokes, the local bike shop in Illinois. The Naperville Parks Foundation is a non-profit with a belief that outdoor education enhances the community by providing physical, mental, social and economic benefits of its members, a mission magically aligned with The Specialized Foundation. Kudos to Spokes of Naperville and Owner Basil Radi for donating the 40 bike builds and maintenance for the school. Basil shared, “We believe in the program and wanted to give back to the community and contribute to kids being healthy for a lifetime”. 

Since The Specialized Foundation currently only funds middle schools at this time, the school, retailer and Naperville Parks Foundation worked together to self-fund a program to jumpstart the first high school program. Basil shared the other two local high schools are now interested too—a win for the community and the students!

Troy Cooper, president of the Naperville Parks Foundation spearheaded efforts to bring the program to the school, including raising a majority of the funds needed to launch the project, Cooper said. The group received funding support from the school, as well as donations from private businesses.

Our mission at the Parks Foundation is to get people in the community outside and active," Cooper said. "We look for creative ways to partner with businesses (and others) in the community to make this happen. This was a really good partnership."

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John Fiore, instructional coordinator for the Naperville North HIgh School's wellness department commented they hope by integrating cycling into physical education classes they can change the mindset that students can ride bikes not just for fun but rather as their preferred method of travel opting to ride more and drive less.

Read more on The Naperville Parks Foundation website

For more information on The Specialized Foundation and Riding for Focus grants: reach out via e-mail:

Ariadne Scott