KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — More students in Knox County are going to learn how to ride a bike thanks to a $30,000 donation.
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and Coca-Cola Consolidated are partnering with the nonprofit ‘All Kids Bike’ to bring the learn-to-ride bike program to five Knox County Schools, Amherst, Blue Grass, Christianberry, Lonsdale and Northshore Elementary Schools. The donation of $30,000 will fund the schools with a full fleet of 24 strider balance-to-pedal bikes, helmets, one instructor bike and a curriculum.
“Physical activity riding a bike, studies show that that has a big impact on the quality of life of people. So I’m just thrilled that folks in our Community have stepped up to do this,” said Jacobs.
On Tuesday, Oct. 3, Jacobs, Coca-Cola Consolidated Representatives (CCCI), Kroger Representatives, Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jon Rysewyk, Principal William Smith, and All Kids Bike Public Relations Manager Lauren Tadlock went to Lonsdale Elementary for a surprise unveiling of the bikes. During the event, the students had the chance to try out the new bikes.
“Amazing, the kids are so excited about the big surprise. So, it’s really cool to see them and just their eyes light up and you know, run over and jump on the bikes,” said Jacobs. “It is very rewarding. You know, our young people today are under so much pressure and stress. So to be able to see them having a good time is great.”
Jacobs and Ryeswyk also took a turn on the bikes along with the kids.
“I was a little worried at first if we were going to fit, the mayor’s a pretty tall guy too, but in the end, we did and the kids were faster than we were which doesn’t surprise me,” said Rysewyk.
“With my height, it’s always challenging for me to do certain activities and riding the bike was… I had to make sure the seat was adjusted and then of course Dr. Rysewyk is also a really tall guy too. So I think some teachers here probably did a much better job of riding the bike than Dr. Rysewyk and I,” said Jacobs.
This is all part of an effort to empower kindergartners and enhance social, mental and physical well-being.
“We’re blessed to live in a community where education and schools are important. So many of the corporate people we talked to today are related to a teacher or have students who are in our system and this is what makes our community thrive when both corporates can work together with schools to help raise the next generation so Knox County thrives for a long time,” said Rysewyk.