07/15/2010 03:27 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

'Scraper Bikes' Help Boys Stay In School And Off the Streets

A new style of bikes, called 'scraper bikes,' are helping under-served teenage boys stay out of trouble and stay in school. GOOD Magazine reports, thanks to the new Scraper Bike nonprofit, education in the Oakland area has seen an increase in school retention and a close in the achievement gap. The local scraper bike group, founded by Tyrone Stevenson, employs tactics similar to organizations achieving success in other cities, such as the Harlem Children's Zone and Green Dot Public Schools.

Scraper bikes are customized, decorated bikes that kids come together to work on every day. What began as a group of just eight or nine kids is now a group of almost 40 kids, mostly 13 to 16-year-olds. In order to join the scraper bike team, each child must bring their report card and demonstrate at least a 2.0 GPA. While academic achievement and environmental sustainability have not exactly been defined as "street cool" in the past, this tactic seems to be working.