Rifle-Garfield Re-2 elementary students take the training wheels off
The Garfield Re-2 School District welcomed volunteers with Wish For Wheels, a Denver-area nonprofit which supplies bikes to underprivileged students, as 130 Wamsley and Highland Elementary students rode away with brand new bikes last week.
“It was like Christmas Day,” Wamsley Elementary Principal Kathi Senor said of the giveaway. “Watching the kids get on the bikes and the look on their faces was wonderful. I’m not sure if they will do it again here but it was great to have them here.”
She said she saw kids riding their new bikes around town all weekend and even saw one parked outside the school on Wednesday morning.
Wish For Wheels Supreme and Events Commander Chris Webster said Rifle was the farthest west the company has traveled in Colorado and praised corporate partner Umbrella Roofing for helping to set up trips to the area since their partnership began three years ago. In 2016, Wish For Wheels visited Eagle schools and last year they gave bikes away to Glenwood Springs students.
He said the biggest benefit to the partnership has been that it has allowed them to get involved in the Roaring Fork area.
“I love the part of the job of giving the bikes to kids,” he admitted. “The schools were so accommodating and I just love the Western Slope.”
He said in a community like Rifle, where you can easily get around on a bike, they are essentially giving the students freedom.
“We love bikes and want to instill that in the next generation of kids,” he explained. “It gives kids a sense of responsibility and freedom.”
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The city of Rifle plans to allocate grant funding for improvements to Railroad Avenue and Third Street.