SAN ANTONIO – A group of 100 elementary kids from Edgewood Independent School District formed part of this year’s Earn-A-Bike for Christmas 2019 program.
Saturday morning was the final celebration of the eight-week program that rewards kids with a new pair of wheels based on their behavior at school.
Earn-A-Bike is celebrating its fifth year serving children in San Antonio. The purpose of the organization is to foster healthy living habits through bicycles and mentorship to prevent obesity-related diseases.
At the celebration, children had a brand new bike and bag of tools waiting for them. Saturday morning’s challenge was to assemble the bike.
"We're just here to help them," Norma Banda said. Banda is a returning volunteer and retired teacher who has a passion for cycling. "For me, being able to help kids like these, is so rewarding. That's what teaching is all about," Banda said.
Earn-A-Bike believes that getting the kids involved in the bike assembly process creates a sense of accomplishment for their hard work.
Fourth-grader Tyana Kinsey said she has enjoyed learning how to properly attach the handlebars, pedals and seats for her bike.
"I've had a lot of bikes but have never been able to build one," Kinsey said.
Although the bike is the big prize for the children, organizers for the event say the mentorship established between the volunteer and the student is an even bigger reward.
"This is also part of (helping) build their future," Banda said.
The day also included a bike inspection, helmet fitting and two-mile bike ride with their mentor.
Earn-A-Bike is already gearing up for their next stop at Harlandale Independent School District on December 14.