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Village Flyers

Row 1 (l-r): Amy Downing and Sam Cook
Row 2 (l-r): Ray Funnye, Amy Edmunds, Brian Tucker
(not pictured Glenn Jeffries and Brian Piedfort)

The Village Flyers Project (VFP) creates a bicycle club to serve middle school students in the underserved community of Plantersville in Georgetown County. Scheduled to debut next summer, VFP is based on Momentum Bike Clubs, a proven model successful in upstate South Carolina. It is aided by affiliation with the Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative Capstone Service Project. VFP uses an intentional approach to engage youth within their communities in a manner that affirms their assets and strengths. It promotes positive outcomes for youth by fostering positive relationships and offering consistent support to enhance their leadership potential. VFP requires students to embrace vigorous exercise and healthy peer/mentor relationships. In conjunction with the faculty of Carver’s Bay Middle School and community leaders, VFP recruits eligible mentees and connects them with volunteer adult mentors. VFP schedules weekly bicycle rides as a tool of engagement. As the program progresses, students earn bike ownership opportunities by demonstrating club commitment, maintaining successful academic standing and practicing civic responsibility. The Plantersville Road Scenic Byway is identified as the trail for the inaugural ride. Essential to VFP’s success is the identification of those committed to serve as a consistent presence in student lives. Recruitment of volunteer adult mentors is currently underway. Partnering with a local bicycle shop for basic training, equipment and repairs is another key component. These discussions are also in progress.