All Kids Bikes Program About to Kick Off for Kindergartens and First Grades in Citrus County | Local News



Thanks to a curious toddler, all kindergarten and first graders in Citrus County will have the opportunity to learn to ride a bike starting next week.

Stephen Barbieri assembles one of the dozens of youth bikes that Shaunda Burdette, executive director of the Citrus County Education Foundation, looks at Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday, volunteers helped the Phil Royal Legacy Foundation assemble 288 Strider 14x bikes as part of the nation’s All Kids Bike Ride Learning Program. On Friday, a total of 50 bikes – 48 children’s bikes and two teachers’ bikes – will be delivered to two local elementary schools, Inverness Primary School and Citrus Springs Primary School.

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In addition, each student who participates will receive a bicycle helmet to take home after the end of the eight-week program.

The helmets, a total of 398 that will be delivered to schools on Friday, are courtesy of a grant from Pilot Club International, said April Royal, founder of the Phil Royal Legacy Foundation.

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Meghan Pitzer, Executive Director of Citrus County United Way, places a Royal Legacy sticker on a helmet, one of dozen to give to kindergarten and first graders at Inverness and Citrus Springs Primary Schools on Friday, September 18.

So far, 800 of the 2,000 helmets needed for this year have been ordered and covered by the grant.

“How it all happened, last Christmas I took one of Phil’s bike frames and gave it to my nephew, Austin, who was 16 at the time, for Christmas,” said declared Royal.

“In January we took him to the bike shop in Inverness (Inverness Bicycle & Fitness) so they could make him a bike. While we were there my son, Roman, who was about to turn 2 in February, didn’t want to get off the bikes, ”she said.

Bike shop owner Sherry Bechtel told Royal about Strider balance bikes for kids learning to ride, and after Royal researched the bikes online, she ordered one for Roman’s birthday .

Inside the box it came in was a little leaflet.

“It said, ‘Add driving to reading and writing and arithmetic’ and it was All Kids Bikes,” Royal said. “When I went to the website and read about it, I thought, this is cool… Phil was a triathlete, so that fits perfectly with the mission of the Phil Royal Legacy Foundation. “

In order to raise $ 135,000, the foundation’s fundraising gala in June raised $ 65,000 for the All Kids Bikes program.

“So far we’ve spent $ 60,000 on bikes,” Royal said.

During this weekend’s Royal Run, the foundation hopes to raise more money for the program, including funds to provide storage solutions to seven local schools that do not have adequate storage for bicycles.

Royal said she was particularly excited about the five-year program, as it will not only build children’s confidence and contribute to their overall health and well-being through physical activity, but hopefully , will reduce the number of hours children spend with digital screens.

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Doug Dodd, left, a member of the Citrus County School Board, and Tiffani King, deputy director of the Citrus County Education Foundation, work together to assemble a bicycle, one of many that were delivered on Friday September 17th at two local elementary schools, Inverness Primary School and Citrus Springs Primary School.

According to information on the All Kids Bikes website (, “two-in-one” conversion bikes “help riders gain confidence and learn more advanced skills on a balance bike. Then, when the kids are ready, it easily converts into a pedal bike with the installation of the Easy-Ride Pedal Conversion Kit.

“Which is really cool, my daughter Brelyn is in kindergarten at Inverness Primary and she will be able to be a part of this inaugural year,” said Royal. “Phil would be blown away by that.”

It only takes $ 10 to teach a child to ride a bike through the All Kids Bike program. If you would like to contribute, please make checks payable to the Phil Royal Legacy Foundation with “All Kids Bikes” in the memo line. Send to: Phil Royal Legacy Foundation, PO Box 3003, Inverness, FL 34451.



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