Kiwanis help students to restore bikes

By Liz Mellino

A group of Mooroopna Primary School Year 6 students will soon be riding a new set of wheels out of the schoolyard.

The students have been working with Mooroopna Kiwanis Club members for the past term to restore and repair unwanted bikes.

The Build a Bike Program was started by the Kiwanis club 12 years ago with Mooroopna Park Primary School students.

The program has run for three years at Mooroopna Primary School, with no plans to stop any time soon.

‘‘We started the program at Mooroopna Park about 12 years ago because there was a shortage of male teachers and the boys weren’t getting any male contact,’’ Kiwanis member Ted Davies said.

The club has helped restore dozens of bikes which have been donated by the public, with the students learning how to repair any broken parts and punctured tyres before taking them home to enjoy.

Mr Davies said the program was a great way to teach students hands-on skills they would not learn in the classroom.

‘‘We mend the punctures, fix the brakes, adjust the gears and then clean them up — that’s the hardest part getting them to clean up,’’ he said.

‘‘At the end they get to take the bikes home ... the Kiwanis Club is supposed to be for children and that’s part of our charter, helping children.’’

School principal Steve Rogers said students gained valuable experience from spending time with the members each week.

‘‘It is fantastic to have our local Kiwanis Club involved with all of our children, it gives them a great opportunity to bond with older members of the community and really learn from them,’’ Mr Rogers said.

If you have an unwanted bike you would like to donate, contact Ted on 58252614.