Young students at a Delaware County parish school recently biked for a worthy cause, raising thousands of dollars to upgrade to their playground.

“Pedal for a Purpose” took place May 26 at the St. Cornelius Early Learning Center, with nearly 100 kids from grades pre-K3, pre-K4 and kindergarten riding their bikes – or, in some cases, scooters — through a marked course in the parish parking lot.


The 30-minute laps added up to “close to a mile” for each participant, said event coordinator and pre-K4 teacher Debbie Anderson.

And with parents, family members and friends sponsoring the kids, the turning wheels notched a grand total of more than $5,000 in donations.

One motivated boy even posted a Facebook video encouraging viewers to support his campaign, Anderson said.

The funds will help enlarge the outdoor recreation area at the school, where admissions are on the rise, said Anderson.

“We started off with 68 students, and this year we had 98,” she said. “For next year, we’ve added two more classrooms, with a total of about 125 kids, and we have a waiting list for pre-K3 and pre-K4.”

Anderson attributed the enrollment surge to “word of mouth” recommendations among area parents.

“A couple of families came over here, and the next thing you know, others followed,” she said.

The center offers STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and mathematics) education, plus afterschool programs in science, robotics and arts and crafts.

But whether they’re working hard in the classroom or biking to build a bigger playground, the St. Cornelius kids know how to have fun, said Anderson.

“They had a blast at ‘Pedal for a Purpose,’” she said. “They got excited, because they know this is their school.”

Staff and parents shared that enthusiasm, she added.

“Everything we do is for our kids,” said Anderson.

Kids at St. Cornelius Early Learning Center in Chadds Ford took to their bikes and scooters May 26 to raise money for a playground expansion at their growing school. (Debbie Anderson)