A charismatic third grader at Hawthorne Elementary School, Gunnar is just one of many students with disabilities who are already benefitting from a specialized adaptive bike purchased with grant funds provided by Variety KC. He spun around the school gym and smiled wide when asked if he was having fun.
“Yes!” Gunnar exclaimed.
The bike cost $5,963, according to Kearney School District Physical Therapist Anne Hayter. Variety KC was able to help a whole group of students with its grant.
“They work with children with disabilities and their families all over the KC metro,” Ms. Hayter said. “I was thrilled that they were willing to award a grant to a school district. This one grant can meet several students’ needs.”
Some students with health conditions or physical disabilities can find PE and recess very challenging, Hayter explained. She and her team work creatively to modify or adapt activities to ensure access for all students, but even with those changes, PE and recess can be a source of frustration. This tricycle can offer these students an energy-efficient means of mobility while still working to improve strength and activity tolerance.
“Plus, it’s fun!” Hayter said. “We used the bike last week in PE for students to be able to participate in relay races with their classmates. It’s wonderful to see these children included with their peers!”