Noon Rotary funds bicycle for special needs students

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Mary Kate Rosenfelder, Peer Leadership Class Aide; Raymond Ziegler, Class Teacher; Kristin Vlack, Junior Student; and Loren Gineris, Physical Therapist

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ST. CHARLES — Teaching assistant Peg Frank was convinced that her students at the Mid-Valley Special Education Cooperative would benefit from using an adaptive bike as part of their therapy and learning experience.

“These students had never been exposed previously to using a bike, and after consulting with the elementary school physical therapist and the high school therapist, it was determined that all of our students would benefit from the use of a modified bike,” she said. “The next step was to borrow an adapted bike to let the students try it out for a few days. The students really worked hard, and loved the motion up and down the school’s hallways.”

Peg’s husband, Rotarian Craig Frank, showed his Noon Rotary Club several short videos of some his wife’s students using the borrowed modified bike for the first time. The smiles and enjoyment from the students convinced the members that this was a request they could support.

At their most recent meeting, the Foundation Board of the St. Charles Noon Rotary Club unanimously approved a $3,472 award to the Mid-Valley Special Education Cooperative for the purchase of an adaptive bike for multi-needs high school students.

Mid-Valley worked closely with Hal Honeyman of Creative Mobility at The Bike Rack in St. Charles. He provided the bike. The three-wheel modified bike has an added dimension of comfort and support for the mature rider.

The handlebars, seats and crank mechanisms are adjustable and the walk-through design and step-on platform make getting on as easy as sitting down in a comfortable chair. For stopping safety, the bike has two rear brakes with controls that can be mounted on the handlebars. The bike also comes with head and body pads to keep the rider’s torso and head stable.

Expected benefits include: improved range of motion, endurance, balance, strength, pride, self-control, large-motor planning skills, processing skills such as thinking ahead, and experiencing the freedom of feeling movement under their own power.

Children at Mid-Valley live in Batavia, Kaneland, St. Charles, Burlington Central, and Geneva community unit school districts. These high school students have moderate to profound cognitive delays, neurodevelopment delays or significant physical disabilities.

St. Charles-based Mid-Valley was formed in 1963 to serve students with a myriad of special needs in the participating area school districts. In 2012 Mid-Valley served about 230 students at 16 program/classroom locations. For more information, visit www.mvse.org or call Executive Director Carla Cumblad at 331-228-4873.

For more information about the St. Charles Noon Rotary Club, contact Dustin Hawkins at 630-584-2255.