Linn Area Credit Union Introduces All Kids Bike Program in Marion

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA, September 24, 2019 – Linn Area Credit Union has provided funding to the Teacher Store to bring the first All Kids Bike program to Iowa. The Kindergarten PE Program will be implemented at Starry and Longfellow Elementary schools in the Marion Independent School District.

All Kids Bike is a national nonprofit organization committed to teaching kids how to ride a bicycle. The program will equip the school district with a fleet of 22 Strider® 14x Balance Bikes with Pedal Conversion Kits, along with 22 fully adjustable helmets. Teachers will receive everything they need to teach children how to ride a bike during kindergarten PE class, including teacher training, an eight-lesson curriculum, and a five-year support plan. 

Principal Annette Maier of Starry Elementary will administer the program for both schools. The two-month curriculum will be launched in November 2019 at Starry Elementary and in March 2020 at Longfellow. Approximately 150 kindergartners will receive the training each school year.

“We are grateful to Linn Area Credit Union and the Teacher Store for providing this curriculum to Marion schools,” said Principal Maier. “Some of our students don’t have access to a bicycle, so they’ll have an opportunity to learn to ride for the first time!”

As a local financial institution, Linn Area Credit Union is the driving force behind the Teacher Store, a non-profit organization that provides free classroom materials and supplies to area educators and their students. 

“We’re so excited to be able to bring All Kids Bike to eastern Iowa through our support of the Teacher Store,” said Jenny Lorenz, President/CEO of Linn Area Credit Union. “Linn Area was originally the teachers’ credit union, so we have a soft spot in our hearts for kids and schools.”

The program is an unusual one for the Teacher Store. The local nonprofit primarily focuses on school visits and other events where teachers can get school supplies using Teacher Bucks issued by the store and the credit union, “but we were thrilled to be able to bring the All Kids Bike Kindergarten PE program into our community,” said Lori Vana, president of the Teacher Store board. “It really is a perfect fit for us.” The partnership will help Starry and Longfellow kindergarteners enjoy the health benefits of riding a bike, gain self-confidence, and have some fun.

The balance bikes will be assembled in early October by volunteers from the Midwest Xtreme Triathlon Club and presented to Principal Maier at Starry Elementary later that month.

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About Linn Area Credit Union

Linn Area Credit Union was founded in 1935 when eleven Cedar Rapids teachers each put up $5 of their own money. By the end of the first year, the Cedar Rapids Teachers’ Credit Union (as it was then known) had 72 members. Today, Linn Area Credit Union has five locations and serves nearly 25,000 members in 22 counties. The credit union actively contributes to local communities and nonprofit organizations centered on children, families, and education. Linn Area Credit Union’s mission is to be partners in a successful future with our members and employees by providing caring financial services and community support. Learn more at www.linnareacu.org.

About The Teacher Store

Fully operational since 2009, the Teacher Store is a nonprofit organization that provides free classroom supplies to area K-12 educators in exchange for Teacher Bucks. After the loss of its original location, the Teacher Store went mobile so that it could bring the supplies directly to educators at their schools. The Teacher Store accepts donations of new supplies from businesses, organizations and the public. Cash donations are also welcome and are used to purchase additional inventory for the store. For more information, visit www.teacherstore.org.

About All Kids Bike

All Kids Bike® is a national movement led by the Strider® Education Foundation to place Kindergarten PE Learn-To-Ride Programs into public schools for free, using donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations. For more information visit www.allkidsbike.org

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