Build-a-bike program helps to curb ‘summer slide’

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – It’s not your typical summer school.

A non-profit program focused on improving math and english for at-risk youth, is giving students a powerful motivator: a brand new bike they help build.

The last time 12-year-old Kyleigh Durham said she attempted to ride was four years ago.

A scar she got three weeks back nearly derailed her again.

“It made me nervous to get back on cause I didn’t want to hurt myself again,” said the Greenville County rising seventh-grader.

That’s where Scott Forster with the BellxCel program comes in, teaching grit, as a key to success.

“The next day she said I’m not getting back on the bike, but she went to not only getting back on the bike but improving her skills and now she’s keeping up with the other riders,” said Forster.

This non-profit camp geared towards helping lower income students who need an extra push academically may focus on math and English, but the powerful motivator is a brand new bike.

They even help build it thanks to volunteers like Kimberly Poole.

“If I can get them to learn anything about turning a wrench on a bicycle, use their head, think about what they’re doing, it just makes me feel wonderful,” Poole said.

Leonardo Styles even used his new skills to fix his little brother’s bike.

“I thought it was cool they showed us how to do everything and they took that bike completely apart before they even gave it to us and we had to fix most of the stuff by ourself,” Styles said.

BellXcel serves 25,000 students across the country in the sumemr months but only 60 kids in Greenville were lucky enough to get into the build a bike program.

It’s a whole new ride that’s truly helping to fight the summer slide.

“I feel proud of myself. How good I’m riding, I really don’t think I’m going to fall,” Durham said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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