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Katonah Elementary School has a big goal: for each of their homerooms to raise enough funds to donate a bicycle to a student in a rural African country. “While the cost of each bicycle is $147, the opportunity for our students to become global citizens is priceless,” said Cristy Harris, Principal of Katonah Elementary School.
KES is working with World Bicycle Relief (WBR) on this initiative. Catherine Courter, a Katonah Elementary School parent and avid cyclist, introduced Assistant Principal Terry Costin to WBR and together they spearheaded this project.
Students are raising money through Walking for Wheels--a combination of local businesses and kid power. During eight of their recess periods, students will walk one mile around the soccer field. Local businesses have committed to sponsoring them; contributing $1 per mile walked. The school’s goal is for students to walk a cumulative 3,520 miles by the end of the school year, earning enough for each of the school’s twenty-two homeroom classes to purchase a bicycle for a student recipient in rural Africa.
"Thus far we have walked twice during recess and have logged more than 1,000 miles," said Costin. "All four hundred and thirty students walk around the perimeter of the soccer field on our upper field five times during recess which is the equivalent of one mile. Many of our students have walked or run as many as eighteen laps during recess in support of the cause."
KES kicked off this school-wide, year-long initiative at a Sharing Assembly in early October with special guests Jesse Donovan, a Vermont triathlete and her son, Griffin, who rode his bike to school every day for an entire year in rural Vermont in an effort to raise funds in support of WBR.
Each class also read The Red Bicycle and learned how bicycles are necessary to connect with education, healthcare, and economic opportunities in many parts of the world. This picture book by Jude Isabella follows a bicycle's adventures in West Africa--delivering a family's crops to market and bringing sick people to the hospital.
Read more about KES' Walking for Wheels at WorldBicycleRelief.org.