I-Can Bike program teaches special needs kids

July 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The "I-Can Bike" program is wrapping up its second successful year in Fresno. Nearly 100 volunteers are giving special needs kids the skills to ride a bike and to succeed in life.

By day four of camp, the kids that attended the camp are getting the hang of riding a bike. They all face unique challenges. 10-year-old Emily, has Downs Syndrome. Her mother, Holly, watched with pride as Emily took laps around the gym.

"I guess we just take it for granted that they are going to learn how to ride a bike it's a little harder for Emily," Holly Archon said.

The kids were shaky when they first got behind the handle bars and there were falls, of course, but that was all part of it. But volunteers made sure the kids always got back on and kept pedaling.

"When you have a child with a developmental disability they have to do that task hundreds and hundreds of times before they can learn how to do that task. You and I, maybe 5 times and we kind of got it down," Kareny Ray, camp director.

The bikes are designed especially for kids with special needs. The bikes have an extra handle bar and a special device on the back, instead of a rear wheel.

The goal is to have them on two wheels by the end of camp. Emily accomplished that goal Thursday and she was nothing but smiles and high fives.

"It's such an accomplishment for her and so proud of her and i know she's proud of herself, so that's huge for me," Archon said.

"They are learning self-confidence. And they have shown that these kids that come through this camp are more confident in other areas of their lives," Ray said.

And parents will admit their kids looked more confident now than when they started camp a week ago.

Confidence they know will go a long way, whether it's pedaling on a bike or going full speed ahead in life.

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