Who taught you to ride a bicycle? You probably know exactly who it was and you may even have memories of that day (hopefully good memories!), but if you’re reading this, odds are very high that you do know how to ride a bike. Many kids, even today, cannot say the same.
Through the Peloton Charitable Fund, we began supporting Nine13sports a few years ago because they get #kidsridingbikes – a cause we feel truly anyone can get behind. While they have several deliverables, including an apprenticeship program to teach kids how to build bikes, their main programming involves bringing bikes into elementary and middle school PE classes. We thought this 2019 story from Mr. Marcus Dalton, PE teacher at Nora Elementary School, illustrates the goodness that Nine13 delivers:
“This past August there was a very special moment for one of my students and I during Nine13sports’ latest visit to Nora Elementary. I had a third-grade class come in and I had a student who had expressed anxiety about participating in their Kids Riding Bikes program leading up to their visit. I was curious as to why, but she was reserved. I found out she had never been on a bike before, nor even a tricycle or anything similar. The day that Nine13sports visited Nora she took some convincing, but we got her to watch her peers ride the bikes and her eyes began to light up. At the end of class she eventually came up to me and eagerly asked if she could ride the bikes. I smiled and said of course! She got on and rode for the next 20 minutes with the biggest smile on her face. The Nine13sports coaches were encouraging, extremely helpful, and made her first experience on a bicycle one that she will never forget. This is only one small story of many major impacts they have made on my students over the years!”
As the nation shut down in April, Nine13 saw their in-school programs vanish overnight. Rather than becoming defensive and waiting it out, they adapted and began using their trucks to deliver food to Indianapolis area food banks. Fortunately, at this writing, school programming has begun to ramp up again. We love how the Nine13 team dealt with the hard reality of a pandemic and used their resources to meet tangible needs in our community.
2020 has been historically hard for everyone, and you may not be able to give this year. But if you are, many great non-profit organizations like Nine13sports are ready to put your gifts to work serving our communities well.