Teaching Disabled Children to Ride a Bike- SHS Sophomore Takes on the Job

iCanBikeBiking is such a summer staple activity, especially here in Westchester. However, it’s an activity that most people take for granted. Although it’s usually considered to be a basic skill that all kids learn, many people with disabilities go their whole lives without taking a ride. This summer, Scarsdale High School rising junior Natalie Schonfeld is working to change that. Natalie is pairing up with iCan Shine, a non-profit organization which works to improve the lives of people with disabilities. The organization offers three programs, iCan Bike, iCan Swim, and iCan Dance, and pairs with hosts to run these programs across the country. Natalie is the host of the iCan Bike program which will be held in Yonkers over the summer. The program runs for 5 days, and each day the participants attend a 75 minute session. By the end of the camp, about 80% of the participants are able to ride a bike on their own.

Natalie first found out about iCan Shine from her cousin, who hosted her own camps for a few years in Massachusetts. Natalie volunteered at her cousin’s camp last year, which is what inspired her to become a host herself this summer. As host, she has a lot on her plate. Natalie is in charge of finding the space for the camp to be held, volunteers to help run everything, and most importantly the riders. As far as hosts go, Natalie is pretty young to be taking on all of the responsibility. However, she is devoted, and so far, everything is on track to be successful.

When asked what’s been the best part of the experience, Natalie said this:

“What’s been most enjoyable is the great response from campers’ families- which shows there really is a need for [iCan Bike] in lower Westchester. Although I know that once the camp begins, seeing campers improving their skills will be even better.”

To Natalie, it is such an incredible and rewarding experience to help these kids develop a new skill. As of now, she is still looking for volunteers. Anyone over the age of 15 who is looking for a way to help others over the summer should consider helping out at the camp for five days. To volunteer, enroll, or ask any questions, contact Natalie Schonfeld directly at icanbikewestchesterny@gmail.com.