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Anchors Away: Lose The Training Wheels

By Amy Unger | Web Producer
Published On: Aug 15 2011 10:44:14 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 05 2010 05:32:37 AM CDT
TREXLERTOWN, Pa. -

Learning how to ride a bike can be especially challenging for kids with special needs.

But the Eastern Pennsylvania Down Syndrome Center is trying to change that.

This year the group hosted a volunteer-driven camp to help children "lose the training wheels."

WFMZ's Wendy Davis and Rob Vaughn checked it out.

On a sweltering afternoon in a parking lot at DeSales University, a group of campers are learning to go it alone.

But the road to independence actually began several days earlier.

So let's rewind a bit, to the starting line of a bike camp called "Lose the Training Wheels."

We have 40 children and young adults all with some type of special need that has prevented them from achieving the goal of being able to ride a two-wheel bike, said Kathi Eichman of the Eastern PA Down Syndrome Center.

Enter the volunteer squad.

You're going to make sure you put a foot behind the roller, hand on the handlebar, coached Lose the Training Wheel's Sharon Colantonio.

The volunteers are the ones out there working directly with the children, said Eichman. They're motivating them, they're encouraging them. They're giving them the tips and the things that will keep them moving.

And slowly but surely, they're really moving!

As the 5 day camp progresses, so do the riders.

And volunteers can count on much more than just a work-out.

They're leaving tired but they're back here with their smiles because they had an opportunity to bond with these kids, said Eichman.

And before you know it, all those little moments inside add up to big moments outside on the macadam.

"Lose the Training Wheels" has wrapped up for this year but the Eastern Pennsylvania Down Syndrome Center hosts several events throughout the year that need volunteers.

For more information click here. Or contact the Eastern PA Down Syndrome Center at the address or phone number below: EASTERN PA DOWN SYNDROME CENTER PO Box 60 6900 Hamilton Blvd. Trexlertown, PA 18087 610- 402-0187