COLORADO SPRINGS — The holiday season is upon us, and this year KOAA is partnering with Kids On Bikes to give bicycles to kids in need.
The non-profit organization works hard to provide kids with access to bikes, opportunities to ride, and bicycling education.
Kids on Bikes partners with schools, community centers, libraries, and other organizations to give kids refurbished bikes. Kids go through a safety course or other educational training, and once they pass, they get to keep their bikes. Here is a link to a program map to see which communities are already participating.
"They come, work with the kids, and the kids are so excited to be able to ride the bikes," said Yevette Brown, CPSD Giving Children a Head Start teacher.
CPSD Giving Children a Head Start is among the schools participating in the earn-a-bike program. Brown says most of their kids don't have the chance to ride or own a bike.
"The best part is the safety part about riding a bike. They are learning the right way," said Brown.
Brown says it really helps develop kids' social and emotional health.
"We've had a couple of kids who've fallen and the other kid will go and help them get up or make sure they're OK. So the social and emotional part of being a good friend and helping a friend out," said Brown.
Executive Director Daniel Byrd says the program aims to provide more resources to kids across the Pikes Peaks Region.
"We want to make sure we provide them with programming that meets them where they are. A lot of the time we want to address certain neighborhoods, certain partners, and certain schools with more resources. We work even harder to make sure those who may be lesser-resourced have more resources," said Byrd.
He says their earn-a-bike program allows kids to learn how to be good stewards of bikes, but also good stewards of their health.
"It is so critical that children understand that they are responsible for their own health. They have to make choices every day about living a healthy lifestyle that will help them become a healthier student, a healthier adult," said Byrd.
"It is kinda like making sure that they recognize that play is fun but you're getting something beneficial for your body," said Brown.
KOAA is asking the community to drop off their old kid-sized and adult-sized bikes at local drop-off sites. Donation drop-off locations are listed below.
These bicycles will be overhauled, made good as new, and then distributed to participating neighborhoods.