Why support Geerz?
Who We Are
Geerz is a non-profit, highly innovative therapeutic, informal education program based on the magic of mountain biking. Our curriculum is designed to help kids struggling with challenges like ADD/ADHD, social and behavioral problems, low self-esteem, anger management, family dysfunction, adolescent anxiety, eating disorders, and PTSD. Many of our riders have been diagnosed by school psychologists and or private therapists; for many, their parents simply “understand” that there are underlying issues like obsession with electronic devices, lack of exercise and limited social interaction that require creative and hands-on attention.
What We Do
Geerz uses mountain biking as a supportive, drug-free, natural approach to helping kids discover the thrill of developing self-esteem, physical fitness, focus, and emotional strength. Incorporating goal-oriented, positive behaviors and pastimes as part of their identity can fundamentally rebuild a child’s emotional framework, and doing so in nature through physical activity develops the body as well. As our tagline says, each week, our riders are literally and figuratively “conquering challenges, one trail at a time.”
Why We Succeed
Teachers are overwhelmed. Parents are frustrated. Kids themselves recognize that there must be more to life than shuffling between school and their digital screens. Geerz teaches Israeli kids empowerment — without medication, without critique, without humiliation. This dynamic creates buy-in from the kids, not resentment at being “treated”. We demonstrate every day that learning to mountain bike boosts a child’s self-esteem with a healthy, constructive release and the realization that he or she has the power to create a path to confidence and achievement. We have long lists of testimonials parents describing transformations that are -- even for us -- hard to read without tears.
How It Works
The Geerz program is a weekly after-school program in session for 10 months during the academic year. To ensure consistent guidance and strong relationships, Geerz employs 50 trained instructors, where two or three instructors are completely dedicated to a specific group of 10-15 riders for the entire year. Each 90-minute session includes a trail ride and skills training (riding skills, mechanical skills, bike safety, and etiquette) and a structured, professional-designed session, focused on grappling with life’s challenges. This discussion occurs halfway through each ride, so our riders can stop to rest their bodies as they activate their minds. On each ride, a different struggle is defined, explored and discussed. The curriculum is structured to progressively cover a wide variety of issues, which our riders identify with at their own pace and level of severity.