A nationwide program that aims to teach every child in the U.S. to ride a two-wheel bicycle was recently announced. The nonprofit All Kids Bike campaign will facilitate donations of free bicycles and a curriculum to kindergarten classes throughout the country. The drive will be funded by a coalition of parents, educators, health care providers, businesses, nonprofits and members of the general public.
More than 100 schools in eight states are already participating in the initial stage of the program. The complete nationwide rollout is expected to take until at least 2024 to fully implement.
Schools that are the beneficiaries of All Kids Bike receive everything they need to get their students pedaling, including an integrative curriculum, staff training and certification, child-friendly bikes designed to make learning easy and fun, and ongoing support.
The program requires no out-of-pocket expenditures by the participating schools. All Kids Bike and its companion Adopt-A-School Program are a partnership between each school’s community and the nonprofit Strider Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. The Foundation will provide an unlimited dollar-for-dollar matching grant to every school enrolled in All Kids Bike.
All Kids Bike funding partners are required to raise $2800 per school to implement this special program, an amount that – when matched by The Foundation – facilitates the bicycle education of more than 240 current and future kindergarteners.
The benefits of biking, especially for children, are well documented. Bicycling provides a cardiovascular workout, building young muscles, strengthening kids’ immune systems, sharpening their minds and elevating their academic performance. Biking also boosts the self-confidence of children. It instills a love of the outdoors. It fosters friendships with other children. And, to the delight of young children, it allows them to ride along with their older siblings and parents on family outings.
Ryan McFarland, the entrepreneur behind the All Kids Bike movement, foresees a positive good for our nation when future generations of kids grow into active, civic-minded adults who establish our nation’s policies on public health, environmental protection, public transportation and infrastructure.
Inspired by extensive, independent, early-education and childhood health studies that confirm the many benefits of regular biking and exercise for kids, McFarland gathered a small team of two-wheel enthusiasts to undertake the task of transforming America into a country where all kids bike.
“Bicycling is much more than a simple recreational activity for children. It’s a lifelong game changer,” McFarland said. “Together, we have the power to chart a better, healthier course for our children’s future. It’s as simple as riding a bike.”
To learn more about the All Kids Bike campaign, host the program at a school, or become a supporter, visit www.AllKidsBike.org.