A new, unique, research based, summer program is being launched at the historic Storm King School in Cornwall New York. Set atop the scenic Storm King Mountain, in walking distance from the nearly 4,000 acre Black Rock Forest Preserve, this end of summer program designed by the Dean of Academic Support, is the perfect primer for students to begin a new school year.

Focused Riding, a two week summer program at The Storm King School, will focus on four areas, including academic skill building, mountain biking fundamentals, and a variety of other programmatic opportunities for students with attention difficulties. On the last day of the program, our goal is to have riders and students participate in a cyclocross race which they train for, plan, and organize. As an experienced educator in the field of dyslexia education and a lifetime bicyclist, Academic Support Dean David Mendlewski created this academic skills based summer mountain biking program for students with ADHD after reading compelling research regarding the positive effects of biking on focus.

In the academic skill building section of the program, participants will learn how to organize themselves and their school materials (electronic and paper) for the upcoming school year. Students will also learn reading comprehension strategies and note-taking skills as they complete their required summer reading. This part of the summer will be designed around the executive function skills program taught in the ASP (Academic Support Program) at The Storm King School.

Riding will take place on a daily basis. Participants will ride on our campus singletrack trail and on the log roads of the Black Rock forest. Students will learn the fundamentals of riding (no specific mountain biking skill is necessary), bicycle maintenance, and basic trail care. Bicycles will be provided, though students have the option to bring their own bikes. We will also take a trip to a location in the Catskills or Adirondacks for a weekend of riding and camping.

In addition students will be busy learning, interacting, and engaging with their coaches, teachers, counselors, and peers. Therefore, screen time and social media will be limited. This is summer camp, and we want our riders to be learning, riding, and enjoying the summer. Students will also learn what a healthy meal looks like, and will work with our executive chef to develop daily meal plans to boost energy, maximize performance, and improve focus. As such, processed foods and sugar intake will be limited. Our goal in this area is to help students learn about the mental well-being and overall health benefits of healthy eating.