The Children’s Creative Learning Center at FIU held its annual Bike-A-Thon Friday, May 11, in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The event was not only fun for the more than 50 children who participated but an opportunity for them to learn about bike safety, said Libby Kirsch, associate director of the center. As the kindergarten class assembled in the hallway, Kirsch quizzed each of them to tell her a bike safety tip before they headed outside to get on their bikes.
Families also received brochures from the Brain Injury Association, and each child strapped on their helmets and elbow pads before getting on their bikes. FIU Chief of Police Alexander Casas also stopped by the event with one of his officers to talk with the children.
“This is one of those real-life experiences that we have for the children and this is one of our main events where we reach back out into the community,” Kirsch explained. “Unfortunately, the children know the term cancer and they know that it means that it’s something that’s hard to take care of and sometimes it’s a kind of sickness where children have to live in the hospital.”
The center has held the annual event for more than 20 years, Kirsch said, and to date the Bike-A-Thon has raised about $15,000 for research at St. Jude’s.
Located on the west side of FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus, the nationally accredited educational preschool for children 2 to 5 years old was established in 1975. The center is a self-supported university auxiliary and a department within the Division of Student Affairs.
Children who attend the center are “independent, they’re autonomous, they know how to think, they have critical-thinking skills, and they know how to make decisions,” Kirsch explained. “And it starts all the way from the youngest children here at the center.”
If you’d like to learn more about the Children’s Creative Learning Center go to children.fiu.edu or call 305-348-2143.