Local Bike Non-Profit Partners with the Kroc Center to Reward Kids with New Wheels
You might remember your very first solo bike ride — the moment your dad or mom released their grip from the back of your bike seat to propel you down the driveway or across the empty parking lot. There was nothing like the feeling of freedom and exhilaration that came from pedaling a bike on your own.
Now, thanks to a generous donation from Team Bike Rescue — a local non-profit that refurbishes recycled bikes to give to kids in need — every child enrolled in The Salvation Army Kroc Center’s remote learning program will get to experience the freedom and fun of riding their very own bike.
Team Bike Rescue founder Rich Settje recently visited the Kroc Center to distribute a truckload of bikes to the 27 kids enrolled in Kroc Academy. From brightly colored “banana seat” bikes to sturdy BMX models to glittery pink and purple bikes complete with multicolored handlebar streamers, there was a bike available to suit every taste.
With area school districts settling late in the summer on a variety of different return-to-in-person-learning plans — in some cases solidifying their plans just before the start of the semester — many parents had to scramble to find a solution that would allow them to continue working while their children were learning remotely. Kroc Academy was launched in August to oversee remote learning for kids in kindergarten through seventh grade whose parents are working outside the home during the pandemic.
“Online learning definitely poses some challenges,” said Kevin Boesiger, arts and education director at the Kroc Center. “But the kids and our Kroc staff have been working very hard to help keep up and stay focused. When Team Bike Rescue heard about this, they wanted to reward the kids with the bikes for their efforts.”
While a shiny new bike won’t alleviate all the hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, it does help bring some joy during a difficult time. As the kids test-drove their new bikes around the Kroc parking lot, it was clear from their smiles that they were delighted with their new wheels.