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Nagel Middle School is first in Ohio to win “Riding for Focus” grant

The Specialized Foundation selected Nagel Middle School to receive a “Riding for Focus” grant, which provides bikes to schools. Nagel is the first school in Ohio and is one of only 41 middle schools in North America to receive this grant.

Through the grant, Nagel students and the program coordinator will receive 21 mountain bikes and maintenance kits. The program integrates cycling into physical education curriculum to help students achieve academic, health, and social success.

Nagel will use the bikes during AFT (Academic Flex Time) with targeted students. Students who have trouble focusing in class will have the opportunity to learn how to ride, perform simple bike maintenance, and enjoy fresh air on Nagel's campus. Brian Weaver, Nagel Physical Education teacher and avid cyclist, will lead the AFT class three mornings per week.

Lou Horn, a fellow cyclist and Anderson community member, brought the grant to the attention of Nagel staff and assisted in the grant-writing process.

“We are excited to be the first school in the state to bring this new, positive resource to students,” said Nagel Middle School Principal Anita Eshleman. “We are grateful to Mr. Horn and Mr. Weaver for going above and beyond for our Nighthawks,” she said.

In the months ahead, Nagel will receive the Riding for Focus program curriculum, bikes and helmets to begin the program this fall. The Specialized Foundation was established in 2015 with the intention of introducing students to cycling’s positive effects.