Nonprofits Bike Fort Collins and Wish For Wheels have partnered and are asking the community for support to provide new bikes and helmets to every second-grader in each Poudre School District’s six Title 1 schools this fall.
Both Bike Fort Collins and Wish For Wheels are seeking to help fund and deliver a total of 400 bikes and helmets to Bauder, Irish, Harris, Laurel, Linton, and Putnam Elementary Schools in conjunction with other local initiators and program sponsors such as YourGroupRide.com and VeloFix Mobile Bike Shop. Each second-grader from the listed schools can receive a bike and helmet, following an event on Saturday, October 10 at Foothills Mall where business sponsors will take part in assembling the bikes for delivery to the schools.
“These types of programs have shown to not only improve attention spans, grades, and reduced truancy, but the bikes also become a built-in form of transportation for students, as well,” said Brad Appel of Wish For Wheels. “While screen time among students is subsequently up 60% or at 11.2 hours per day and only 1 in 5 kids is currently getting the daily recommended amount of exercise, now more than ever kids need a physical activity that is socially distant, community-focused and can include their families,” Brad said.
Each bike costs a total of $150 and can be funded individually or in groups of 10 or more. Funding 25 of the bikes provide businesses or organizations to sponsor an entire second-grade class with funding for 65 bikes funds an entire school. VeloFix Mobile Bike Shop has committed to matching the first $10,000 raised.
“With participation in bicycling up as much as 100+ percent in some places within the city and region, bikes are a fun, yet functional activity—and second grade is a great time to encourage bicycling to help ensure it becomes a habit and a passion for them going forward,” said Dave Dixon of Bike Fort Collins. “It will be great to see all these second-graders participate on these bikes after the pandemic at future Safe Routes to School programming sessions when they’re in third and even fourth grade,” Dave said.
Interested business sponsors should contact Dixon or Appel. Otherwise, the community can support individually by funding bikes at www.bikefortcollins.org/wish-for-wheels-foco.