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Dayton Engineer

Students Provide Bikes to Kids at Kiser Elementary

By Cara Stevens, marketing communications intern

Children from Kiser Elementary, a local Dayton public school, had a great day recently — filled with coloring, playing games and new bikes — thanks to a University of Dayton student organization.

The Wheels for Kids club at the University of Dayton is a service organization that aims to provide as many bikes to deserving Dayton kids as possible, while promoting safe and active bike riding. Wheels for Kids does this by refurbishing donated bikes and giving them away at an annual giveaway event to the elementary or middle school of their choosing. This year, Kiser Elementary, an ethnically diverse neighborhood school in Old North Dayton, was the chosen school.

Over the course of a year, students collected bikes that needed fixing up and worked together to get them ready for the giveaway. 15 children received new bikes.

James Voss, president of Wheels for Kids and third-year mechanical engineer said, “This was the first bike giveaway experience for most of the members of Wheels for Kids, and so it was a great experience to see our hard work planning and fixing bikes bring some joy to the kids who came. Overall, the kids seemed to be having a good time throughout the event and were happy to take home a bike. I think as volunteers, everyone enjoyed working with the kids and the opportunity to give back to the Dayton community.”

Wheels for Kids started as part of an engineering course, but that experience evolved into  a service organization on campus. Many members of the club are engineers, but other majors are also represented. Members of Wheels for Kids come from a variety of backgrounds including business and education majors.

“We have a long working relationship with Kiser,” said Associate Dean Margaret Pinnell, Ph.D. “We work with them on a variety of STEM events as well.”

To receive a new bike, Kiser does a drawing based on parents that came to parent-teacher conferences.

“It is important to work hand-in-hand with community partners.” said Pinnell. “This event has both a positive impact for those who receive a bike and an equally positive impact on those who volunteer.”

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