Big year for Queen City Bicycle Collective’s Earn-a-Bike program

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Queen City Bicycle volunteers with some of the bikes earned by hardworking Manchester primary school pupils.

MANCHESTER, NH – The Earn-A-Bike program, originally created by the Manchester Community Schools Project in partnership with Queen City Bicycle Collective (QC Bike), Gossler Park Elementary School and Beech Street Elementary School, has rewarded academic achievement and leadership skills of elementary school students. school children with bicycles since 2015.

Eligible students who select a bicycle package will receive a helmet, lights and lock to meet all transportation needs while providing an outlet for exercise and recreation. Students who already have a bicycle at home can earn an alternative ‘Be Active’ package. The alternative packages include a ball, pump and accessories, or a set of tennis lessons with a racket through Tennis in the Parks with Manchester Parks and Recreation and a helmet, lights and lock.

2024 is a unique year for the Earn-a-Bike Program. With Beech Street School’s 4th graders moving to the middle school for 5th grade next year, QC Bike has decided to offer a package to all of this year’s fourth AND fifth graders at Beech Street School. This is not a trivial extension; it represents an increase of 95 students, bringing the total number to 225!

Fourth-graders from Gossler Park Elementary received their “Be Active” packets on May 22 during the Gossler Park Block Party from 4:30 – 6 p.m. Fourth AND fifth graders at Beech Street Elementary will receive their bikes at school on May 31.

Each school had a bicycle safety meeting, delivered by certified instructors through Bike Walk Alliance of NH. The safety lesson is reinforced by a helmet fitting, initially done in the classroom and monitored by Elliot Health System staff during the distribution events.

QC Bike Collective refurbishes all bikes to “nearly new” and puts together the Be Active packages with the help of wonderful volunteers and generous funders. “We are very grateful to Elliot Hospital for being the main sponsor of the program for many years, and when we needed more support this year, we got it!” said Tyler Glodt, executive director of QC Bike.

“Elliot Health System, a founding partner of SolutionHealth, is proud to support community health and wellness initiatives that impact local children,” said Anne-Marie Hafeman, Director of Community Engagement & Volunteer Resources for Elliot Health System . “In this case, we are thrilled that students from two primary schools completed the leadership programs to earn bicycles and Be Active packs.”

This year’s success is due to the depth of support provided by the community. Volunteers spent hundreds of hours preparing the bikes and dozens of volunteers are assisting with the distribution events, including crews from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) and Eversource. The number of high-quality trade-in bikes donated through Trek Hooksett and Gate City Coop & Trek Nashua made a huge difference. Additional funding came from SNHU, Queen City Rotary Club, Granite State Wheelers Bicycling Club, Eversource, Keller Williams. Walmart and many private donors.

The Queen City Bicycle Collective continues its mission to bring safe and affordable cycling to the Manchester community, with services, events and community outreach. You can help with that mission by donating money, bicycles or parts, or by volunteering your time. For more information, visit Abby Easterly at [email protected], or by watching Queen City Bicycle Collective’s YouTube videos.

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