LONGMONT, Colo. (KMGH) — Forty-three first graders in Longmont, Colorado got a big surprise.
They were given a free bicycle courtesy of Can'd Aid, The Braly Family Foundation and dozens of Longmont residents who spent Thursday evening putting them all together.
The program, Treads + Trails, aims to get kids of all backgrounds outside through biking.
"My first feeling of freedom as a kid that I can remember is getting on my bike and riding away from my family without training wheels," said Mike Murfitt, an ambassador for Can’d Aid. "Being able to give a kid that experience is pretty unique."
Dozens of volunteers and ambassadors gathered at CYCLHOPS Bike CANtina to assemble the bikes the night before the big surprise.
"Everybody gets to have a beer, sign in and just put together a bike for a kid," said Murfitt. "It's pretty cool to get a kid excited about something like this."
Part of Treads + Trails' initiative is to get kids involved in outdoor activities at a time when screen usage among kids is at an all-time high.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, the average eight to 10-year-old spends an average of 7.5 hours in front of a screen every single day. Organizers hope that by giving the kids bikes, it will inspire them to get outside.
"COVID has forced so many students to go on screens, and if you're in your home, hopefully, this provides an outlet for energy," said Toni Pickett, a representative for the Braly Family Foundation, which is underwriting the bike donation. "I think it's great to be to give them an opportunity to learn something that they can do for life"
This story was originally reported by Sloan Dickey on thedenverchannel.com.