Bay State Savings Bank Sponsors ‘Learn to Ride’ Event

April 11, 2013
By: WSU News

The old saying “just like riding a bike” has been used to describe something that is second nature, but for children with limited access to safe roads and proper supervision or special needs, riding a bike may not be as easy a task to master as the expression implies. Fortunately, the Occupational Therapy Department at Worcester State University has found a way to address these issues – their annual “Learn to Ride” Bicycle Program offers children an opportunity to learn bike riding basics in a safe, supervised environment.

On Saturday, April 27, Worcester State University will host a FREE “Learn to Ride” clinic, (two one-hour sessions) from 9 to 10 a.m. and from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. in front of the Ghosh Center for Science and Technology Center, for local children and their families. Sponsored by Bay State Savings Bank and led by WSU Occupational Therapy undergraduate students, the free clinic will provide area children, ages 6-10, with assessment on motor control and physical challenges. For many of these youth, the clinic provides individualized attention they might not otherwise receive. In addition, the clinic provides OT students with a unique opportunity to utilize the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom.

“Bay State Savings Bank is pleased to partner with WSU in this worthwhile event that supports the education of children and youth in our community,” said Diane Giampa, SVP/Human Resources & Marketing for Bay State Savings Bank. “The fact that this program was initiated by the college students made a big impression. The Bank believes strongly in community service, and we applaud the students at WSU for creating this opportunity to give back.”

Since 1874 Worcester State University has been helping its students Change the Way the World Works. The “Learn to Ride” initiative is a perfect example of students using a practical application of their academic training to problem solve in the real world. Since its inception in 2007, this successful program has improved skills and fostered greater independence in hundreds of local children.

“This kind donation from Bay State Savings Bank is a perfect example of a local business using its financial resources to connect with community, education and neighborhood needs,” said Worcester State University President, Barry Maloney. “From their local branches to the corporate level, Bay State Savings Bank is a compassionate partner to our University and on behalf of the entire WSU community, we are grateful for their generous alliance.”

For more information or to register for the “Learn to Ride” event please contact Joanne Gallagher, Ed.D., OTR/L, at 508-929-8783 or Registration for each session is limited, and children must bring their own bicycle. Space is first come, first served.

One Comment

  1. Jane Grant says:

    This past Saturday’s Learn To Ride bicycle program at WSU, led by our dedicated and talented Occupational Therapy department, was a huge success! It was a beautiful sunny morning to welcome community families to campus. Their children had the experience of a lifetime, learning to ride a bicycle for the first time in their lives. Our OT students and professors were tireless, and overjoyed. To quote some of the kids as the training wheels came off…Caleb yelled, ”Mommy, I…DID…IT!” and Danielle shouted to her family, “Oh my, it’s GAME time!”.

    Thank you to Professors Joanne Gallagher and Catherine McNeil for their leadership and vision. Once again, big thanks to Bay State Savings Bank for their generous support and commitment in helping our WSU students Change the Way the World Works. I would encourage all to attend next year – for me, seeing the huge impact for so many of these children…was priceless.

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