Students at Katonah Elementary School in Katonah, NY are learning about the experiences of kids in rural Africa while fundraising for World Bicycle Relief (WBR). With financial support from local businesses, students will raise enough funds for 22+ Buffalo Bicycles. The kids will dedicate eight of their recess periods to “Walk for Wheels” this school year. Instead of playing, each student will walk one mile around the soccer field. The school’s goal is for students to walk a cumulative 3,520 miles by the end of the school year.

A Parent Introduces Students to the Cause
Catherine Courter is a Katonah Elementary School parent, an avid cyclist, and an active member of Team WBR. Together with Vice Principal Terry Costin, Catherine spearheaded the fundraising project. “My goal with this project was to bring a global cause into our elementary school here in New York,” Catherine said. “I recognized the direct link students have with earning bicycles for other students – the understanding they would gain by being part of such an amazing cause – and the chance for our local community to come together in support of this mission.” Introducing students and staff to WBR’s work through school-wide assemblies helped kick off the project. Jessie and Griffin Donovan, a mother-son team of WBR ambassadors, led the assemblies.

A Successful Start
The first of eight scheduled Walk for Wheels events showed tremendous promise for the long-term program. Several students got into the fundraising spirit and ran more than three miles! Many other kids were eager to dedicate each recess to the cause. “The students’ enthusiasm was enough to prove that this program is a great success!” Catherine said. “We have seven more recess periods dedicated to the Walk for Wheels project, and I have no doubt we will exceed our mileage goals.”

Connections that Create Real Impact
Local businesses have committed to funding up to three Buffalo Bicycles per Walk for Wheels event, or $1 per mile walked. By the end of the school year, each of the school’s 22 homeroom classes will have earned a Buffalo Bicycle for a student recipient in rural Africa. “I would love to see this project implemented in other schools and communities,” Catherine says. “It is simple and accessible and has so much to offer all parties involved!” The Walk for Wheels project is fostering bonds of goodwill that span the globe.

To donate to the Walk for Wheels fundraiser, visit their WBR fundraising page.

Inspired to develop your own fundraising program to connect local students with those in rural Africa? WBR supporters have developed many successful, inventive fundraising programs to bring The Power of Bicycles to those who need it. For inspiration and guidance, check out our fundraising toolkit, read our 5 fundraising ideas for your best event yet, or start your own fundraiser today.

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