More than 500 South Houston Elementary students in Grades K-3 were awarded new bicycles last Saturday for achieving reading and literacy goals set earlier in the school year.
The giveaway was part of an incentive program organized by volunteers with “Changing Young Children’s Lives through Education” (CYCLE), a non-profit group dedicated to increasing reading proficiency among children.
At the beginning of the semester, students signed a contract with the organization to commit to personal literacy goals. Those who met their goals were invited to the school to claim their rewards, which included a bike and matching helmet.
A long line of students and their families wrapped around the building as they waited to see what awards CYCLE had in store. When students entered the building, they were greeted by Santa Claus and escorted to the cafeteria where rows of colorful bikes were assembled. Parents waited outside for students to return with their new sets of wheels.
David Jones was moved to tears when he learned that his son, Ronald, would be receiving a new bike.
“I tell my son all the time to read even when you don’t have to,” Jones said. “Since this started, my son has really been working hard to become a better reader.”
Jones said he was a proud of his son’s hard work.
“I am happy he is getting this experience,” Jones said. “I think it will encourage him to read more and it helps him understand what happens when you put in 100 percent effort.”
Originally called “Elves and More,” CYCLE has awarded around 150,000 bicycles to deserving students throughout the Greater Houston community. Additional information can be found at: cyclehouston.org.