Girls build bikes for foster kids

Central Leader - - NEWS -

A group of foster kids are mark­ing an im­por­tant mile­stone thanks to a high school ini­tia­tive that in­volved stu­dents rolling up their sleeves and putting in some el­bow grease to build bikes.

More than 20 Auck­land foster chil­dren have shiny new bi­cy­cles with the help of the On Your Bike ini­tia­tive from Dioce­san School for Girls.

Year 11 stu­dents learnt valu­able skills in­clud­ing per­se­ver­ance, in­ge­nu­ity and lead­er­ship dur­ing two work­shops where they built 24 bikes for Auck­land foster chil­dren aged from 3 to 11.

Dioce­san lead­er­ship pro­gramme di­rec­tor Jo Robert­son says On Your Bike is one of the spe­cialised lead­er­ship events the school runs to give stu­dents au­then­tic learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for lead­er­ship.

Stu­dent leader Han­nah Jones says most pupils had no idea how to set up a bike.

‘‘We had to re­ally work to­gether to fig­ure out the in­struc­tions and get dif­fer­ent peo­ple work­ing on dif­fer­ent things to make the most of their in­di­vid­ual abil­i­ties, de­spite our over­all lack of ex­pe­ri­ence.’’

Staff from Bike Barn pitched in to en­sure the bikes were built prop­erly and safely.

The com­pany also sup­plied the bike com­po­nents and hel­mets at less than half re­tail price.

Fos­ter­ing Kids spokes­woman An­deana Pi­lalis says it is great to see young peo­ple giv­ing to other young peo­ple in a hum­ble way.

‘‘Get­ting a new bike is a mile­stone in any child’s life. Th­ese young women have given each of th­ese kids one of the best mem­o­ries that they will take right through to adult­hood.’’

Fos­ter­ing Kids is a na­tion­wide char­ity which pro­vides train­ing and sup­port for some of the 6000 fam­i­lies through­out New Zealand who foster chil­dren.

Bike builders: Stu­dents from Dioce­san School for Girls built bikes for foster chil­dren.

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