When Woodson PK-5 Leadership Academy received word that their PE program was receiving a fleet of bicycles for their students, Principal Gina R. Wilkins was ecstatic. Her excitement turned to shock when she discovered that half of her staff never learned how to ride a bicycle.
“They told me that they always wanted to learn but never had anyone to teach them because their parents didn’t know how, either,” Wilkins said. “I thoughts that this would be a great opportunity to give our kids the tools to explore their community, and who knows? They may need a bike for transportation someday. I’m excited that they’re going to have this opportunity, and hopefully in the process we can also teach our staff members. I think they’re more excited than the kids are!”
The pedal-less strider bikes designed to help new riders learn to keep their balance on two wheels were donated by the All Kids Bike “Learn to Ride” program. The initiative was developed by the Ryan Dungey Foundation which provides children opportunities that help them lead healthy and active lifestyles.
The preschoolers gathered in the gymnasium and screamed in surprise and delight as their PE teachers and Dungey Foundation volunteers lifted a parachute to reveal the school’s 24 brand new bicycles. In addition to the strider bikes, the foundation donated helmets, pedal conversion kits, and a teacher instruction bike. With these tools and certified curriculum teacher training, the students will progress from rudimentary balancing to riding a bike in only eight lessons.
Motocross and supercross racer Ryan Dungey coached the preschoolers around the gymnasium on their new bikes, helping them to balance and push themselves along through a track outlined by traffic cones.
“I grew up racing, and it all started with a bicycle,” said Dungey. “Giving [the students] the opportunity to ride a bike for the first time and learn the freedom and the excitement that comes with it, the active and heathy lifestyle that follows that as well, and all the good things that stem from it. They might not take it to Motocross Supercross, or they might, but at the very least, this will have a positive impact on their lives.”
All Kids Bike donated an additional 50 strider bikes to Shearn and Longfellow Elementary. To learn more about the Ryan Dungey Foundation and All Kids Bike, visit the foundation’s website.