SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — More kids in Sioux Falls get to enjoy riding a bike thanks to a partnership between a foundation and the State Department of Corrections.
The Promising Futures Fund helps 14 schools in the Sioux Falls School District with the highest rates of poverty.
On Tuesday, one of those schools got a delivery of 18 bikes.
A bike can mean a lot to a kid.
“The first thing that comes to our mind typically is recreation, but for a low income kid, I grew up low income, I knew how important my bike was to me. It’s transportation; it’s independence,” Promising Futures Fund chair Steve Hildebrand said.
That’s why Hildebrand says the foundation reached out to the South Dakota Department of Corrections about its Pedal Power from the Pen program.
Inmates at Mike Durfee State Prison refurbish unclaimed bikes with the help of donations.
They’re later given to various programs and people in need.
“It’s a great program. It gives a chance for the inmates to work on bikes, getting some of the hard skills of learning how to deal with it, the soft skills of learning how to work with others, work for somebody, show up for work. Those are great things, and if they get good job skills, they have a better chance for returning to their communities and begin successful,” SD State Penitentiary Chief Warden Darin Young said.
The bikes were dropped off at Anne Sullivan Elementary School on Monday.
They’ll be given to the winners of a March math challenge.
“We’re honored to have this privilege to have these bikes donated to us free of charge and the kids love it. They enjoy it; it’s something fun for them to experience,” Anne Sullivan Elementary School principal Nikkie Duin said.
The Promising Futures Fund is working with the DOC to distribute 150 bikes total.
Several have already been handed out and more will be dropped off this week.
No taxpayer money is used to refurbish the bikes.