Building Strider bikes for kindergartners
Building Strider bikes for kindergartners

Building More Than Bikes

We love seeing a KEEN Effect add up. Every dollar donated and every hour volunteered always add up to something much bigger.

In this case, it was a $30,000 donation to the Strider Education Foundation's All Kids Bike movement to fund Strider bikes, helmets, pedal conversion kits and kindergarten Learn to Ride programs at six underserved elementary schools in Oregon, Kentucky, and Michigan. Plus 34 of us got to spend a day volunteering in Build a Bike events, assembling the bikes for the schools. (Every KEEN employee gets 40 hours of paid service leave each year.)

Each recipient school gets 24 Strider bikes, pedal conversion kits and helmets, a 20-inch teacher instruction bike, and an 8-lesson Learn-To-Ride curriculum (used for a minimum of 5 years) aligned to SHAPE America National PE standards.

As a result, nearly 2,000 kids will learn a valuable life skill that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. (That's the really awesome part.)

“Learning to ride a bike is one of life’s most exhilarating milestones, and we believe that every child should have the opportunity to share in that experience,” says Justin McDonald, our director of curiosity at KEEN Kids.

Why all this bikey goodness? We just launched our new kids' Speed Hound sneakers that were specifically designed for all the foot braking and toe dragging that happens when kids ride bikes (or scoot or skate). What better way to celebrate and support our mission of making outside accessible to all than by supporting All Kids Bike on its mission to teach every child in America how to ride a bike.

Kids learning how to ride a bike through All Kids Bike

Here's a look at a few of the schools impacted by the Learn to Ride program:

Gardner International Magnet School, Lansing, MI
"'It’s like riding a bike,' so the saying goes, but quite honestly, most of our students do not own or have access to a bike. Bike riding helps develop our kindergarten students physically and mentally, giving them greater self-confidence. Bike riding and physical exercise also provide an excellent alternative for our students to reduce stress resulting in better focus and positively impacting their academic performance. Implementing the All Kids Bike Program is more than a rite of passage because it will impact our kindergarteners beyond the classroom by helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle and creating long-lasting positive memories."

James John Elementary, Portland, OR
"We are excited for the prospect of bringing a cycling education program to our Kindergarten students. 70% of our families qualify for free or reduced lunch and many families do not have the means to provide bicycles for their children. Even if they provide bicycles, families are not aware of best practices for teaching children proper riding techniques. With balance bikes, children learn to ride more safely and independently without the use of training wheels."

Woodlawn Elementary School, Portland, OR
"We used to have a bike program come in for 5th graders, and every year there were some students who didn't know how to ride a bike. This program would make sure every student got a chance to learn how to ride a bike with support from a PE teacher."

Want to help make a bigger impact and reach more kids? Donate directly to All Kids Bike at allkidsbike.org.

A KEEN employee building bikes for kindergartners

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