by Katrina Smith
Christmas came early for students at East End Elementary. Santa and his helpers have been working overtime to make a big surprise.
The Bikes for Kids foundation is a program that serves over 61,000 economically disadvantaged children. This program promotes healthy learning by character building, reading and writing. They enforce to the students that it is important to work hard because nothing is given, everything in life is earned.
This year, students were given a book to read, which had a positive message. Each student was challenged to think big, work hard, be kind and make no excuses.
Pediatrician Gina Dieudonne, the area coordinator for the Bikes for Kids Foundation put more than three smiles on the faces at East. The essay topic was, “why do I want a new bike?” Each student had to submit an essay, and the top three essay winners would be the recipient of a new bike.
“When you start thinking about what you want to be when you grow up, you start to focus on it,” said Dr. Gina. “You imagine yourself being that and you hang around people who are already that.”
“Who wants to win a bike?” asked President Robert Krumroy, Bikes for Kids Foundation. “Let’s see who wants a bike the most.” This pumped the students up. Members of the football team and cheerleading team went into the crowd with the students and encouraged cheering even more.
Dr. Gina read the first essay, which was written by Nylah Taylor. She wrote in her essay how she wanted a new bike because she has had good behavior. She expressed being named student of the month and being respectful. She needed a new bike to ride to her grandmother’s house. She was so excited to be chosen to get a new set of wheels to dart off to grandmother’s house.
Principal Brittanie Doaks read the second essay, which was written by Malachi Wade. He stated he needed a new bike because he always does his best, makes good choices and always believes he can do better. Wade’s expression of disbelief was priceless as his name was called.
Superintendent, Dr. Janice Epperson, read the third essay, which was written by Armando Hernandez. In his essay, he wrote about how he was so happy to purchase his own bike with some birthday money that was given to him. He talked about how he loved his bike but someone else did too; and his bike was stolen. When his name was called, he smiled and smiled.
The students whose names were not called all demonstrated good sportsmanship. They cheered for the other students who received new bikes as if their names were called. They were still hopeful and began chanting, “one more bike.” Was one more bike even possible to give?
Doaks, Krumroy, Dr. Gina and Dr. Epperson did a team huddle to see if they could give just “one more bike.” The essays were just that good. The decision shocked the entire gym because every student received a new bike plus a new helmet. There were 100 bikes that were distributed to the students at East Elementary.
Cheers of excitement filled the room as students jumped for joy, screamed and for some, shed tears. This is a reward that will stick in the students hearts for a lifetime. They saw first hand that dreams really do come true.