Local Spotlights: The Ghisallo Foundation
This past week I had the pleasure of sitting down for a brief interview with Christopher Stanton of the Ghisallo Foundation. The Ghisallo Foundation works on various cycling related initiatives in Austin, including trail maintenance with Keep Austin Beautiful and sponsoring a cycling team. But their main initiative is the expansion of the youth programming initiatives at local middle schools.
We are a mentoring program, realistically, we’re not just trying to give an info sheet, we’re trying to engage with them at an interpersonal level, to produce some sort of community within your group, and it’s not just between the student and the instructor, you’re trying to build a cohesive group among the students…. the interesting part of our program is that we use bicycle maintenance and riding skills to provide a framework for all those interactions. And the end desire is that the student begins to feel connected to cycling as a social interaction and a lifestyle interaction.
Another great aspect of the organization is their take on how bicycling is attached to choice of activity:
Through cycling you can increase the volume of choices you have
Kids whose worlds used to encompass their block now have a new freedom, a freedom of choice to explore their surroundings at an entirely different scale. (with permission of course)
One of the core beliefs of HourSchool is the simple notion that everyone can and should teach. We believe that we all have knowledge to share, and our communities are better off when we actively share that knowledge. We love how the Ghisallo Foundation shares this belief.
You have to engage the individual with both the content provided and a way to own that knowledge.
Check out the full interview here, including an incredible story of kids learning to teach each other at an impromptu cycling event.
For more information on the Ghisallo Foundation, please visit their website here: http://ghisallo.org
Thanks to Christopher and to the Ghisallo Foundation for taking the time to sit down with us.
The HourSchool team.