Dushuntae Palmore’s kindergarten students chanted his name as he took a lap around the Piccolo School of Excellence gymnasium on a Strider training bike on Tuesday.
Students then lined up behind him on kid-sized bikes to give it a go themselves.
Palmore is a teaching assistant at Piccolo in Humboldt Park, one of eight CPS schools receiving 24 Strider training bikes and helmets, plus online support to help the schools teach their kindergartners how to ride.
This donation came from a partnership between All Kids Bike and The NASCAR Foundation ahead of the first-annual Chicago Street Race this July. The event, taking place on streets in and around Grant Park in July, is NASCAR’s first street race.
Strider primarily sells children’s training bikes, which help kids “balance, stride, glide and then pedal,” said project manager Lauren Tadlock. These bikes have detachable pedals and foot rests. All Kids Bike is part of Strider’s non-profit arm.
The bikes were a surprise to the kindergartners, said Piccolo principal Heather Pusatcioglu. They were hidden behind a makeshift partition of gym mats, and when they were revealed, students erupted in cheers.
The NASCAR Foundation committed $48,000 to this partnership, according to foundation news release. The program focuses on schools that need it, said Julie Giese, the president of the Chicago Street Race.
Giese said giving back to the Chicago community is “incredibly important” to NASCAR. She added, “We’re committed to being a member of this community.”
This is the second time the foundation has partnered with All Kids Bike, said executive director Nichole Krieger. The organizations provided bikes to 50 public schools in Los Angeles, where NASCAR hosts the annual Busch Light Clash race.
Read More: Off to the races: NASCAR partnership donates bikes to Chicago kindergartners 2023-04-25 23:32:00