Thanks to a $10,000 Monsanto Fund grant, Faith, Hope & Charity of Storm Lake will be able to host a one-week program next July 31 through Aug. 4 to help disabled children learn how to ride bicycles.
The Lose the Training Wheels program helps children with disabilities learn how to ride a bike without training wheels in the one-week Rainbow Trailers clinic. Faith, Hope & Charity will host the clinic in Storm Lake and children in Faith, Hope & Charity's residential program and community service program will have an opportunity to participate.
The Program is based on the use of a series of adapted bikes beginning with a double roller bike. After a fairly brief familiarization ride, clinic instructors encourage children to transition onto an adapted bike fitted with a single roller in the rear. After children master those two bikes, they are introduced to more subtle changes with a goal of the child riding a two-wheeled bike.
Faith, Hope & Charity is very grateful for the grant from Monsanto because the tax-supported reimbursement structure for their Community Services programs only provides enough funds for direct childcare costs and very little else. This means that Faith, Hope & Charity relies on donations for clinics such as this.
"Riding a bicycle is something many of us take for granted," said FH&C Development Director Mary Ludwig. "It's an easy activity for most, but for children with special needs, it can be a challenge. That's why we are very excited to offer this program and open the door for children with special needs to master bicycle riding."
Clinic instructors say the benefits of riding a two-wheeled bike include an infectious smile, peer inclusion, building self-esteem, family lifestyle enhancement, increased activity and mobility, increased cognitive stimulation, and better physical fitness.
For more information, contact Bev Miller or Mary Ludwig at 712-732-5127.