100 WVIA Way
Pittston, PA 18640

Phone: 570-826-6144
Fax: 570-655-1180

Copyright © 2024 WVIA, all rights reserved. WVIA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Volunteers needed to help children with disabilities learn to ride bikes

Information on volunteering for the iCan Shine Bike Camp at North Pocono Middle School.
Information on volunteering for the iCan Shine Bike Camp at North Pocono Middle School.

After waiting almost three years, Kimberly Hart’s teenage son, Jake, learned how to ride his bike last summer at a five-day camp in Easton.

Almost immediately after, Hart, through her nonprofit Abilities21, began fundraising to bring the camp closer to home. Now, with a location secured and 35 participants signed up, Hart is seeking volunteers from Aug. 1 to Aug. 5 to help support the children with disabilities learn how to ride a bike at North Pocono Middle School in Moscow.

iCan Shine collaborates with organizations and individuals to host five-day iCan programs where people with disabilities are taught to ride conventional two-wheel bicycles. The international nonprofit also offers iCan Swim and iCan Dance programs.

The Center for Independent Living's Transitional Skills Center is sponsoring the camp.

Hart's son, Jake, has down syndrome. He never trusted a bike before. Jake would just walk alongside it or push it. After five days at the iCan Shine camp, Jake was pedaling on his own in the parking lot of Easton Area High School.

"When we attended the program, I saw how amazing it was, and felt that like the kids in our area would really benefit from this as well," Hart said.

The local program sold out the day registration opened, she said.

Each participant needs about three volunteers to walk, jog or run alongside them during five, 75-minute sessions each day. There will be breaks, Hart said.

Volunteers must be 14-years of age or older. Previous experience working with children with disabilities is not a requirement. High school students who need volunteer hours or sports teams looking to help out in the community make a great fit to volunteer, said Hart. However, anyone is welcome.

Jake loves riding his bike. He is taking the course again this year as a refresher to keep up with and stay motivated, said Hart.

“It's just a whole different world that's opened up to him to be able to have that freedom,” she said.

A one-hour orientation will be held for volunteers on Sunday, July 31, at 3 p.m. at North Pocono Middle School.

To register, fill out an online volunteer form. For questions, contact Hart at ICanShineNP@gmail.com.

Kat Bolus is the community reporter for the newly-formed WVIA News Team. She is a former reporter and columnist at The Times-Tribune, a Scrantonian and cat mom.

You can email Kat at katbolus@wvia.org