If anyone knows what riding a bike can do for a kid, it’s National Ambassador Steve Klein. Steve grew up in Northwest Iowa, riding his bicycle and working hard as a farm kid to save up enough money to buy his first motorcycle. Motorcycles continued to play a significant role in Steve’s life and continue to do so today. He now runs Klein Companies, developing neighborhoods in South Texas and still finds time to ride his motorcycles. Steve and his wife, Joan, have always felt strongly about supporting education initiatives in their hometown of Victoria, Texas. If the school needs something, they find a way to make it happen. Steve and Joan believe the best way to reinvest in their community is through children. After all, they are the future of the community. One day, these kids may marry and raise a family right there in the neighborhood Steve built. They also strongly believe every child should have the same opportunities as others, and that is why they support Ella Schorlemmer Elementary School located in one of the neighborhoods the Klein Companies developed.
Steve and Joan understand how budgets can continuously challenge schools and believe all kids deserve equal opportunity. This led them to build a basketball court for the school a few years back. Steve asked the kids at school to draw what their dream house would look like for a school project. “We learned how families lived from those drawings and even included some of the ideas into our housing plans. Well, except the giant slide that went from a bedroom to the pool. I built 600 homes in this area, and I am committed to building a community that invests in the future. And children are one hundred percent the future of this community.” Steve stated.
With their first grandchild, Steve and Joan were able to experience all over again just how vital a bicycle is to a developing child. At eight months old, they gave their grandson a Strider 2-in-1 Rocking Bike. “He couldn’t crawl yet, but he was fascinated with the bike. As soon as he started crawling, he would head straight to the bike and pull himself up on it. It’s like how a puppy knows to chew on a stick. It’s intuitive for kids to be attracted to bikes.” Steve told us.
When his grandson was 18 months old, Steve took the rocking base off the bike and laid the bike down. “What would he do?” Steve wondered.
“He walked right up to the bike, picked it up by the handlebars and tried to throw a leg over. He missed the first swing, but the second one he got, and took off across the living room, striding along like a pro. When we got to witness how easy it was for our grandson to learn to ride on a Strider Balance Bike, we knew the All Kids Bike Learn-To-Ride Program was the right fit for the elementary school in our development area.” Steve said.
Elizabeth Chandler, Principal of Ella Schorlemmer Elementary School, stated, “We are extremely excited about All Kids Bike. It’s hard to find a PE component that fits children in grades K-1st. This program is perfect. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Klein.”
Steve is excited about the bike delivery day and can’t wait to see how quickly the kids learn to ride. Some student’s dads have assembled the bikes, and all of them were very excited to help. Steve now has his eyes on locating other companies to join him in investing in the future of their communities in the great state of Texas with the All Kids Bike program.
If you are interested in investing in your community’s elementary schools with the All Kids Bike program, contact one of our All Kids Bike staff today!
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