Yamaha has long made an effort to invest in the communities its business serves, from working with federal land agencies to funding trail systems in places without many off-road recreation options. Its most recent investment is in efforts to get kids outdoors on bicycles. Yamaha is donating $30,000 in funding to the All Kids Bike program, which operates in 350 schools across 45 states. The money is from a grant from the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative. The aim is to help kids reduce screen time and go outside and learn life skills and develop a passion for the outdoors.
“Research shows approximately seventy-five percent of kids won’t even ride a bicycle one time this year,” said Ryan McFarland, All Kids Bike founder, who helped Yamaha employees deliver bikes to Juliet Morris Elementary School in Cypress, California, last month. “We believe it’s critical for the future of our kids and our communities to change that stat, so All Kids Bike is on a mission to teach every kid in America how to ride a bike in kindergarten PE class. We share a common goal with the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative of getting people outside and enjoying nature. This is a big win for our program, but mostly for the kids at these schools.”
“With kids in the US spending an average of seven hours a day on a digital screen, it’s never been more important for companies like Yamaha to invest in the future of outdoor recreation by getting our youth off of the devices, and participating in healthy and fun activities to increase their confidence, instill valuable life lessons, and simply enjoy all the outdoors has to offer,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s motorsports marketing manager.
Yamaha’s investment will fund six All Kids Bike programs in Georgia and California.
“Being able to financially support these efforts is always great, but giving Yamaha employees the opportunity to contribute their time to help build and deliver the bikes to schools in the communities where they work is much more meaningful and valuable,” Nessl said. “It’s rewarding to know we’re playing a role in getting more kids outside.”
The All Kids Bike program is now in 350 schools in 45 states, with another 50 schools currently in training that will have the program by the end of the year. Yamaha teamed up with Strider Bikes in their efforts to grow the All Kids Bike program.
“My dad was a Yamaha dealer when I was a kid, so I grew up on Yamaha. The very first Strider Bike I built for my son 15 years ago, I painted it blue and put some Yamaha stickers on it,” said McFarland, who is also the founder and CEO of Strider Sports International Inc., maker of the Strider bikes utilized in the All Kids Bike program. “Now that we’ve teamed up with Yamaha’s offices and employees to bring this important program to kids in their communities, we know it will continue to grow from here and we’re already seeing interest from their neighboring schools.”
About the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative
For more than a decade, the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative has led the powersports industry in guaranteeing responsible access to our nation’s land for outdoor enthusiasts. Through this program, Yamaha has directly and indirectly supported thousands of miles of motorized recreation trails, maintained and rehabilitated riding and hunting areas, improved staging areas, supplied agricultural organizations with essential OHV safety education, built bridges over fish-bearing streams, and partnered with local outdoor enthusiast communities across the country to improve access to public lands. Updated guidelines, application form, information and news about the Outdoor Access Initiative are available at yamahaoai.com.
About All Kids Bike
All Kids Bike is a national movement led by the nonprofit Strider Education Foundation to place Kindergarten PE Learn-To-Ride programs into public schools for free using donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations. One of the key goals of the organization is to make riding a bicycle the fourth “R” of elementary education along with reading, writing, and arithmetic. The ability to ride improves a life greatly while developing balance, mobility, safety, environmental awareness, and facilitating exercise. It instills confidence in the classroom, home, and community.