St. Louis BWorks: Improving Literacy, Technology & Bicycling

St. Louis BWorks Inc. Bicycle Works

The mission of St. Louis BWorks Inc. (a.k.a. Bicycle Works) is to enhance the character and quality of life of youth and their families through programs focused on bicycling, literacy, and technology. 

Throughout the year, more than 5,000 bikes are donated but most are not in good condition. The unusable bikes are disassembled for salvage, reuse, and recycling. Overall, roughly 90 tons of material is being diverted from landfills. 

Earn-A-Bike offers kids a chance to earn a bike when they learn about bicycle safety and maintenance from volunteers. Over the course of two six-hour sessions, students learn to work independently and as a group to solve problems. About 350 kids graduate from the program every year, earning their own refurbished bike, along with a helmet, light and lock.

The Earn-A-Computer introduces young people to the inner workings and possibilities of computers and the internet — all while getting set to take home a refurbished computer (desktop/tower), monitor, keyboard, mouse, flash drive and network cable at the end of six class sessions. 

St. Louis Book Works promotes verbal, visual and cultural literacy through creative expression. Young people in the program work with volunteer editors to write and illustrate their own books. 

These free courses are geared to students ages 8-17. Over the past year, BWorks provided 51 multi-week courses to groups of local children. Combined, more than 600 youth participate in class sessions each year, with an average of 12 students per class session. 

At the end of each program, the youth have a real, tangible reward for their commitment — along with skills they can use for a lifetime. Many kids who participate in the program stay involved long after graduation, working side-by-side with adult volunteers to help the young people in their community.

St. Louis BWorks is located at 2414 Menard St., St. Louis, MO 63104. For more information visit www.bworks.org or call 314-664-0828.