"I'm pretty amazed," says 7th Grader Merrill Leak, standing in the middle of a sea of 540 bicycles. "It's more than I thought. I thought they would be kind of cheap bikes maybe, but these are really nice."
Every school in the district will recieve a set of thirty bikes. Mary Ley of the Bentonville School District says the new curriculum starts with the second grade, and as the kids grow up they learn more advanced riding techniques.
"Bikes are such an equal way to work out,and all children can succeed on a bike and feel confident on a bike," Ley says. "We have these amazing trails in town and we want them to learn how to navigate them."
The bikes were paid for with grant money, and parent volunteers, along with students, local cycling clubs and Phat Tire Bike Shop spent two weeks assembling the rides.
"People use the word community, but we really define community in Bentonville," Ley says. "People loaned their warehouses, and their dumpsters."
She says the program will teach kids to live their lives in a positive way, and she believes it will spread beyond the classroom.
"We hope they go home and they talk about it and we hope we get their parents on the bikes on weekends and Bentonville becomes one of the most fit communities in the United States," she says.