OSSINING, N.Y. -- Nearly hidden in a basement art room at Ossining High School, one can hear the whirring of bicycle wheels and chains under repair as a group of students rescue discarded bikes to distribute to those unable to afford them.
Members of the Ossining Re-Cycle Club are donating hours of after-school service refurbishing the bicycles under the supervision of physics teacher Mark Scinta.
“The program was started last year when two senior boys asked our principal, Joshua Mandel, if they could collect unwanted bikes and fix them up and give them to less fortunate people who wanted bikes,” Scinta said. “The students saw a CBS News show about a New Jersey group that started a program in an urban location.”
Mandel organized the program and arranged for board approval and funding for start-up costs.
“I began working with the two boys last year and we began setting up shop, making a bench and one rack for donated bikes,” Scinta said. Scinta said the school promoted the program at the start of the 2014-15 year by talking to many students at orientation in September. The response was more than Scinta expected. Not only did the students sign up, but a steady stream of donations have come in including bikes donated by teachers. A local garage contributed sets of wrenches and Mandel made some donations from his personal bike tool collection. Parents pitched in with items like WD-40 oil.
Pedro Montesdeoca is an avid cyclist who is donating his after-school time to the project. “We see a lot of rust, shaky rims, chains that are is bad shape and other things we work on,” Montesdeoca said. “We can get a bike back in shape pretty easily. We have been getting donations and I’m looking forward to getting the bikes to people who can use them.” The Re-Cyclers are accepting donations of used bicycles, tools and other contributions as they continue repairing the fleet of bikes that fill their workshop area in the art class space. The team has also built a toolbox to be used by future mechanics. To help the Re-Cycle Club, contact Mandel at firstname.lastname@example.org or Scinta at email@example.com.
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