Two classes of Colorado Springs District 11 students are a lot more mobile these days than they were a week ago.
On Monday, Kids on Bikes, a Colorado Springs-based nonprofit, awarded about 40 Bristol Elementary fifth-graders bicycles, locks and helmets as the culmination of the Kids on Bikes’ annual Academics, Behavior, and Character (ABC) Program. Students are rewarded with bicycles for achieving academic, behavioral and character-based goals set at the beginning of the school year.
Meanwhile, Wish for Wheels Foundation, in concert with Panera Bread, provided 31 Lincoln Elementary kindergartners with bikes and helmets.
Colorado Springs School District 11 said in a press release about the Kids on Bikes program:
The ABCs Program originated at Sand Creek Elementary in 2005, and in six years, Kids on Bikes has distributed more than 400 bicycles to deserving fifth graders. This is the first year of the program at Bristol Elementary as continual expansion adds a new school each year with a long-term commitment to current schools. Bicycles, locks and helmets are provided by Kids on Bikes through generous financial and in-kind donations by individuals, local merchants and organizations, and private foundations. This year, Kids on Bikes is excited to announce a partnership with Specialized Bicycles and local bike shop ProCycling to help provide bikes at a reduced cost.
Over at Lincoln, on May 19 the Wish for Wheels Foundation and Panera Bread provided kindergartners with bikes and helmets and promptly installed training wheels on every bicycle.
"It's the first bike experience and a safety thing," Lincoln principal Shirley Stevens tells us. "So they can have a proper working bike and learn to ride it with a helmet. We support physical fitness through different activities."
The parents knew the bikes were in the offing, because the foundation had asked for consent forms to be signed ahead of time. But that didn't remove the emotion from the presentation.
"They were so excited," Stevens says. "A lot of them were crying, and the parents were crying, they were so happy. Panera is one of our community partners, so this was their big thing to do for their neighborhood school."