Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#bikewitmike #berwyn #apple

Freedom PE teacher Mike Belcaster is an inspiration. Words cannot describe the experience I had today, but I'm going to try my best so I can share Mike's story.
Last spring, Mike had an idea. He wanted to take his students on a bike ride through Berwyn, visit all 8 +South Berwyn 100 schools and +Morton West, record the whole trip on video, and put that video footage into an iMovie for his students to watch during PE class. Mike teaches a fitness based PE program where students learn more than just how to play a sport, he teaches them how to track their fitness, how to use weights and cardio equipment in a gym, and much more. His lucky enough to teach at +Freedom Middle School where they have access to such equipment, thanks to a grant from +OfficeMax and a partnership with +United Way.

He would have his students workout on the stationary bike and watch videos on YouTube of people riding through cites, pushing them to bike faster, up hill, etc. Mike thought to himself, I want my students to watch a video like this, but with video footage of Berwyn. He wanted the video to be more meaningful to his students, get them out into the community, and exercise outside of school too. He wanted to pursue his idea over the summer, but got locked up around logistics and a broken bike.

A few weeks ago, Apple showcased "Jason Hall, Organizing a Movement" in Detroit. The movement, sparked Mike's idea again and decided he was going to make this happen. Mike had exceptional support from his administration, +Jim Calabrese & +Lindsey Lahr, his Health & PE team +Lori Esser+Celia Pravda, some colleagues +Lauren Krall+Meagan Bushell, the Technology Director +James Kloss, and myself. This group, took out 5 students today after school on a bike ride. Mike prepped ahead of time using the Map My Ride App, and created a route for us to bike to 9 buildings. Meanwhile Assistant Principal Lindsey Lahr prepped the Go Pro, +James Kloss got the Drone ready, and we were off.
During our ride we saw the beautiful city of #Berwyn, we saw joggers, walkers, and (probably everyone's favorite) the fall athletics going on outside at +Morton West. "It was like a movie." Football players, cross country runners, tennis players, and more. The teachers saw old students; you could hear their excitement as they called out their names, "Ms. Lahr! Ms. Esser!" About an hour and 7 miles later, the 12 of us returned to Freedom School. Everyone had smiles on their faces. The students asked if they could do this again, and the ideas started pouring through our heads. Let's get others involved, let's do another ride with all staff, let's see if we can get the Mayor to record and introduction to our video we make...
Mike purchased a new bike just yesterday, so he could ride it for today's ride. He is an inspiration. This "idea" is going to go much further than a movie, I just know it.

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