Franklin Elementary is seeking support for a fleet of 22 bikes, helmets, kickstands, and curriculum.
Franklin Elementary is an urban school located in the heart of Wausau, Wisconsin, which is part of the Wausau School District. Franklin is classified as a federally-funded Title 1 school. This school’s demographics include 65% economically-challenged students, (Franklin receives 100% free and reduced lunch), 23% of the student population has been diagnosed with some sort of disability, and 25% of the population has English as it’s the second language. Overall, Franklin is a school in need.
On the whole, Franklin students and families are economically disadvantaged. Our goal for education and enrichment is to provide new and unique learning opportunities, access to these opportunities during and outside the school day, and life long skills which will allow students to aspire toward a healthier lifestyle. Biking is one of these new, unique, affordable, healthy, and attainable activity.. Many of our students do not own a bicycle of their own or even know how to ride. Our mission is to change this paradigm.
All Kids Bike programs will allow, at an early age, kindergarteners to learn and develop the necessary skills to make biking a habit over time. There are numerous health benefits our kindergarten students can receive from biking. Biking provides cardiovascular activity, increases balance and coordination, offers our students an outlet for stress, strengthens emotional wellness at school as well as at home, enhances socializing skills, keeps students active outside (especially at a time where screen time has increased due to COVID-19), and energizes them holistically.
Wausau is ranked overall as the #2 best city to bike in the United States and ranked #1 Best Small Town to bike. Such rankings came from data gathered by PeopleforBikes’. The study analyzed: how many people were riding bikes in the city, how often they’re riding (Ridership) , how safe the streets are (both in terms of crashes and perception from riders (“Safety”), how quickly the bike network is expanding (“Acceleration”), and how extensively do the bike lanes and other improvements connect to services like offices, schools, grocery stores, and local doctors (“Network”), and how well do the bike lanes and improvements extend to all the neighborhoods (“Reach”). This last factor, Reach, is critical, because in the past, city planners had often focused new bike infrastructure in more affluent areas and neglected poorer, more diverse parts of cities. Below are the rankings for our city. Access to this new program, All Kids Bike, will provide our kindergarten students new opportunities, new habits, and lead toward a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, our physical community itself - Wausau - will offer another layer of commitment and opportunity to see our students succeed. Our students face both economic and physical barriers to success. When presented with these unique opportunities, student growth and success will be possible. -- Josh Zielinksi, PE Teacher
All Kids Bike® is a national movement led by the Strider® Education Foundation to place Kindergarten PE Learn-To-Ride Programs into public schools for free, using donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations. All Kids Bike is on a mission to teach every child in America how to ride a bike in kindergarten PE class.