Marietta, Georgia-based Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, has announced $30,000 in funding to All Kids Bike, covering the cost for six programs teaching kids in Georgia and California public schools’ kindergarten Physical Education (PE) classes how to ride bikes.
With the grant provided through the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative (OAI), Yamaha joins the national movement helping kids transition from digital screens to going outside and learning important life skills, along with building confidence and coordination that feeds into lifelong enthusiasm for outdoor recreation.
“With kids in the U.S. spending an average of seven hours a day on a digital screen, it’s never been more important for companies like Yamaha to invest in the future of outdoor recreation by getting our youth off of the devices, and participating in healthy and fun activities to increase their confidence, instill valuable life lessons, and simply enjoy all the outdoors has to offer,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s Motorsports Marketing Manager.
“Research shows approximately 75 percent of kids won’t even ride a bicycle one time this year,” said Ryan McFarland, All Kids Bike founder, who helped Yamaha employees deliver bikes to Morris Elementary in Cypress last month. “We believe it’s critical for the future of our kids and our communities to change that stat, so All Kids Bike is on a mission to teach every kid in America how to ride a bike in kindergarten PE class. We share a common goal with the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative of getting people outside and enjoying nature. This is a big win for our program, but mostly for the kids at these schools.”
Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, (YMUS) employees from the Marietta, Georgia, and Cypress, California corporate offices, and Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America (YMMC) personnel, in Newnan, Georgia, recently volunteered their time to build and deliver bikes and helmets to local schools.
Full All Kids Bike programs, including 24 balance bikes, pedal conversion kits, helmets, and a teacher’s bike, were delivered to Elm Street Elementary in Newnan, Georgia, A.L. Burruss Elementary School in Marietta, Georgia, and Juliet Morris Elementary School in Cypress, California. Three more schools in Newnan, Marietta, and Cypress are also guaranteed funding through the Yamaha grant and will receive the same program support this year.
“Being able to financially support these efforts is always great, but giving Yamaha employees the opportunity to contribute their time to help build and deliver the bikes to schools in the communities where they work is much more meaningful and valuable,” Nessl said. “It’s rewarding to know we’re playing a role in getting more kids outside.”
The All Kids Bike program, developed to be a plug-and-play program for public schools that aligns with SHAPE America National Physical Education Standards, also includes an eight-lesson Kindergarten PE Learn-To-Ride Curriculum, teacher training and certification, and a five-year support plan.
“Yamaha has longstanding, essential ties to the Newnan community. It’s where we live, where we work, and where we play, and we’re excited to help bring this program to the kids at our local elementary schools,” said Bob Brown, Vice President, Finance and Operations Support at YMMC. “These are the first schools in Georgia to receive the All Kids Bike program, and we expect to see a positive ripple effect when more communities start to learn about it and see the outcome of its many wonderful aspects.”
The All Kids Bike program is now in 350 schools in 45 states, with another 50 schools currently in training that will have the program by the end of the year.
“My dad was a Yamaha dealer when I was a kid, so I grew up on Yamaha. The very first Strider Bike I built for my son 15 years ago, I painted it blue and put some Yamaha stickers on it,” said McFarland, who is also the founder and CEO of Strider Sports International, Inc., maker of the Strider Bikes utilized in the All Kids Bike program. “Now that we’ve teamed up with Yamaha’s offices and employees to bring this important program to kids in their communities, we know it will continue to grow from here and we’re already seeing interest from their neighboring schools.”
As the powersports industry’s leading outdoor access program, the Yamaha OAI remains an essential resource to grassroots efforts initiated by riding clubs, land stewardship organizations, educational programs, and public land managers across the country. For more than 12 years, Yamaha has been issuing quarterly grants to non-profit organizations supporting the needs of riding groups, outdoor enthusiasts, land stewardship organizations, and land managers to improve recreational facilities, expand outdoor access, and educate the public on outdoor recreation. Yamaha has contributed more than $4.5 million in aid to nearly 400 projects across the nation over the life of the program.
“Funding for our local schools is integral, and so is helping spread awareness for these national programs that support and activate local efforts where our employees and customers live,” Nessl said. “Yamaha’s Outdoor Access Initiative grant will serve kids at these six schools for years, and we hope the awareness this grant will bring to the broader outdoor recreation community will continue to generate funding for more schools.”
Submission guidelines and applications for Yamaha OAI grants are available at YamahaOAI.com.