KBI Weekly Wrap Up

This year, with Stay Home, Stay Safe orders and the cancellation of our Kids Biking Program for Emmet County 4th Graders, decided if the program couldn’t run, we could still thank our volunteers. This program exists because of the dedication of community members who show up, rain or shine, to share their love of biking with the students.

Each Weekday, Ms O is highlighting volunteers on her Facebook feed, and we wanted to share them with you:

Monday: Patrick Affholter
My “Kids Pedaling with a Purpose” program would not have reaped the successes that it has over the last 3 years without my amazing crew of volunteers! Each day during the month of May I will be posting photos and a special thank-you to one of my many volunteers who love kids and love to bike. Today’s thank-you is to Patrick Affholter! Patrick has been volunteering with us for 3 years and has stepped into more of a teacher/leader role – especially this last year. Patrick joined us this winter visiting schools and and assisting us in making sure that our bike ride testing in the gyms ran smoothly. Thank you Patrick, for your time, dedication and love of kids and biking!

Tuesday: Greg Fuller
This January and February Greg Fuller teamed up with me to visit Emmet County and Charlevoix 4th grade classrooms to talk about the health benefits of biking, simple bike mechanics and bike safety. We then set up a bike course in each of the gyms, determined the size bike each student should ride and had them pedal a simple course to test their bike riding skills. Greg Fuller is a newly certified elementary teacher and totally embraced his role this winter as one of my lead instructors. Greg is currently working at Latitude 45 under Christian Janssens who has been a key supporter, on many levels, since the inception of our program. A very special thank-you to Greg Fuller, Christian Janssens and Latitude45 for their time, talent and love of kids and biking! A few of our January & February 2020 numbers:
11 – Elementary schools visited.
21 – Classrooms we guest spoke in.
335 – 4th grade kids who rode one of our bikes in their gym
367 – Total 4th graders in Emmet County and Charlevoix 2019-20 school year.

Wednesday: Kate Scollin
Kate Courtney Scollin it is your turn to receive a warm #KidsPedalingwithaPurposeVolunteersRock! thank-you! Kate’s spirit, love of kids, and passion for biking has been a wonderful piece of our program! Kate was a key part of our winter school visits this January and February and also in the winter of 2019. Escorting kids from their classrooms to the gym, helping with name-tags and helmets, and recording riding data in the gym definitely made our winter testing process run a lot smoother. It is obvious that Kate loves kids…and loves biking! One added note Kate: As you check out the photos in this thank-you post, notice that I added a group shot of one of the Pellston classes you rode with in May of 2018. If you enlarge that group shot you’ll see you and your riding buddy that day, both grinning with a thumbs up. I didn’t have a shot of you pedaling one of our tag-a-longs with this guy – but I did find one of him feeding the fish. Kate Courtney Scollin…you rock! Hope to see you on the trails this summer!

Thursday: Jan McDonald
My first year teaching in Harbor Springs was 1988. I made a commitment that year to visit fellow colleagues and observe their teaching sanctuaries to gather ideas, styles and strategies. I will never forget walking into Jan McDonald’s classroom. I remember I stopped, just inside her door, and was in awe. Her room was so alive. Every corner, every desk, every shelf, every spot…filled with love, passion & creativity for the kids. I left Jan’s classroom that day with a vision and goal to build an interactive, hands-on creative classroom…just like hers. Jan McDonald was my inspiration to ‘teach creatively’. Now, 30+ years later, I have the privilege and honor of working with Jan in the most interactive, hands-on creative classroom I have ever taught in – outdoors on the North Western State Trail! Our lives are indeed filled with circle journeys and I am so fortunate to be connected with Jan McDonald once again doing what both of us love so much…teaching kids and riding a bike! One added note: This week is ‘National Teacher Appreciation Week’ and not a more opportune time to thank Jan for who she is. #KidsPedalingwithaPurposeVolunteersRock!

Friday: Rob Monroe
Waking up to a coating of snow and 32F this morning has my thoughts jump back to May of 2018. Remember? Rob Monroe does! We were scheduled to open our Kids Pedaling with a Purpose program that spring on May 1st – but we had to postpone for a week and clear a foot of ice and snow off of the North Western State Trail! As you can see in the first photo of this #KidsPedalingwithaPurposeVolunteersRock! post, Rob Monroe was on my team of ‘ice-chippers’ that week!

One added point in regards to spring snow… Laura Edwards-Feys’ 4th grade Sheridan class scheduled to ride today would have been cancelled, and a new date set. I can’t imagine a class of 4th graders riding bikes on an inch of snow when it is 32F!

The last three years there have been very few of our outings that Rob has not been with us. Each morning a ride was going out, I would arrive at the Trails Center by 7:30am to start getting ready…and Rob was already at Spring Lake Park unloading bikes and setting up the teaching tent. Rob taught the lesson under the tent – a review of bike parts, shifting and braking – to 4 small groups each day. Rob and a group of other volunteers would then match kids with their assigned bikes and ride a one-on-one short practice loop with them on the trail.

Rob is an avid biker, a natural teacher and a Top of Michigan Trails volunteer extraordinaire! If you know Rob, drop him a note or give him a call and thank him for who he is and all he gives!