Students Turn Wood Projects Into Funding for New Club

“Even if I don’t join, I think this is a good opportunity to apply our skills and help others,” said junior Corbin Fleischmann.

Woods student Grant Young agreed. “It’s pretty cool and I think a lot of kids will like it,” he said of the club.

Woods teacher Matt Melvin said he got the idea of the mountain bike club after seeing many kids interested in the sport.  He said there are many trails and opportunities in the TK district for mountain bike riding.

As a new club, he said members will learn about basic riding techniques and skills of mountain bike and trail riding including safety precautions.  It also gives students another opportunity to enjoy an outdoor activity that can be done most of the year.

Melvin said he noticed the rise in popularity especially when COVID forced the shut down of many other activities.  Some reports show nationwide trail use increasing by 100 to 500 percent since the pandemic started  and bicycle sales are up more than 100 percent.

Senior Levi Vander Heide likes the idea of a new club. “It gives other kids something to do, especially those who don’t have anything to do after school,” he said. “I play other sports so I don’t know if I would join, but I know others who would like it.”

Austin Rounds said he likes the idea as well. “I don’t know if I will join, but I think we can always use more clubs to get more kids involved,” he said.

The club received a $2,500 grant from the Thornapple Area Enrichment Foundation to help get rolling and moving into high gear. Melvin said he hopes to be able to purchase some bikes so students who don’t have access to a mountain bike can try the sport. He would also like to get a trailer for the club to haul bicycles and equipment. 

The woods students have been working on the chairs and cutting boards for a couple of weeks and are ready now to sell the items.  Cutting boards will be available in the TK high school and community library. The deck chairs are $50 and the cutting boards $25-$35. Cutting boards are displayed and can be purchased in the TK and community library by check or cash. Checks are preferred and should be made out to TK Schools. Cash should be in exact amounts if possible. Anyone interested in purchasing any of the items can also email mmelvin@tkschools.org.