Poudre School District students and staff are giving back to the community during these challenging times. This fall, several schools participated in C.A.N.S. Around the Oval, Colorado State University’s 35th-annual food and fund drive. All donations benefit the Food Bank for Larimer County.  

Congratulations, to PSD’s top CANtributors : Kinard Middle School (first place), Rocky Mountain High School (second place) and Riffenburgh Elementary School (third place).  

Kinard and Rocky Mountain won not only top CANtributors spots among PK-12 schools but were also among the top 10 total CANtributors in the community campaign. Kinard took third place and Rocky Mountain won fourth place overall. C.A.N.S. Around the Oval raised about $66,500 in funds and collected over 19,000 pounds of food in donations. 

Donation totals from PSD’s top five participating schools:  

  • First place: Kinard Middle School
    $4,559 donated funds which equals 9,199 meals | 2,375 pounds of food  
  • Second place: Rocky Mountain High School  
    $2,995 donated funds which equals 5,992 meals | 4,269 pounds of food  
  • Third place: Riffenburgh Elementary School 
    $1,451 donated funds which equals 2,902 meals | 920 pounds of food 
  • Fourth place: Preston Middle School 
    $711 donated funds which equals 1,423 meals | 1,300 pounds of food 
  • Fifth place: McGraw Elementary School 
    $732 donated funds which equals 1,465 meals | 929 pounds of food 

Dollars make a difference: Every dollar donated equals two meals for clients of the Food Bank for Larimer Country.

Wish for Wheels FoCo rolls out nearly 350 bikes, helmets to PSD students

When Kimberly Gutirierrez-Cuevas went to school on a recent fall day, she wasn’t expecting the surprise that awaited.

As part of the 2021 Wish for Wheels FoCo event, the Harris Elementary School second grader got a new bicycle and helmet—and with them, a renewed sense of independence.

“It’s my favorite color,” she said, appreciating the blue bike that sat before she and her dad. “I like my bike. If my parents let me, I will ride this bike to school.”

The best part of wheeling out the donated bikes “is the smile, the one you cannot erase,” said Yara Gonzalez, a fourth-year paraprofessional at Harris, who helped with the event. “The joy the students have of receiving something they want and appreciate as a surprise is indescribable.”

Denver-based nonprofit Wish for Wheels FoCo has donated bikes to PSD schools for the past two years, and its leadership is hopeful to make its work a long-standing tradition.

In the event’s inaugural year, the 2020-21 school year, Bike Fort Collins joined Wish for Wheels to give a new bike and helmet to the 257 second graders at each of PSD’s six Title I schools. This year, that total climbed to more than 325.

Dave Dixon, executive director of Bike Fort Collins, a nonprofit in Fort Collins, said that bike donations connect students to the outdoors and other students. And by giving bicycles to every student at the Title I schools, he said, there is no stigma for the students who have never had a bike before.

Watching them get their bike, he said, is like giving a birthday present on a random day of the year. It fills him with joy.

Pete Wood, a volunteer for Wish for Wheels FoCo, heard about this opportunity to build and distribute bikes at PSD schools through his local church.

The bike-building process took about two hours. Volunteers then loaded the bikes on a truck and stored them at a warehouse until they were delivered to schools.

Because of their size, each bike typically lasts a student three years, allowing them to grow.

“The bikes last year were a blessing. We had to hunt down students who were out riding their bikes,” Gonzalez said. “Kids were not staying at home as much and watching novelas with their parents.”

Dixon said that Wish for Wheels and Bike Fort Collins were introduced during the pandemic. Bike Fort Collins wanted to keep biking at the forefront of students’ experiences during remote learning, and Dixon wanted to meet the needs of students and PSD schools.

“We are extremely grateful for everyone who funded the bikes and built the bikes,” he said. “We are thankful for PSD’s partnership, as well.”

Students at these PSD Title I schools received bikes and helmets during this year’s event:

  • Bauder Elementary School
  • Harris Elementary School
  • Irish Elementary School
  • Laurel Elementary School
  • Linton Elementary School
  • Putnam Elementary School

News bites

Stove Prairie celebrates 125th school anniversary; McGraw Elementary’s Cathy Bowles receives state award for work with students, families; Former students find joy, purpose as principals of PSD schools;  PSD parent steps up for her child, other students, by driving a bus; and more at psdschools.org/news

Health and Wellness

Find resources for Mental Health, Health and Wellness and more through Student Services. Access Student Health programs and services and keep up with Colorado’s required immunizations.

For the latest on COVID-19 protocols, visit the PSD 2021-22 Health and Safety webpage.