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Kids receive bicycles for near-perfect attendance

WARREN — For kindergarten student Aston Davis, getting up to go to school every day was extra special.

Not only did he make a bunch of new friends and learn new things, but on Wednesday, Aston, 6, learned because of his 94 percent attendance during during the school year, he received a new bicycle, a helmet and other gifts.

“I love my bike,” Aston said.

Whitley Giles, Aston’s mother, said he has been waiting all school year to win the bicycle.

“He’s been talking about it,” Giles said.

Aston is one of 66 out of more than 90 kindergarten students whose attendance records were good enough to receive the new bikes.

Believers Christian Fellowship Church, 2577 Schenley Ave. NE, has been providing bicycles to students for eight years. Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, Healthy Community Partnership of the Mahoning Valley and Akron Children’s Hospital joined the program this year as part of the International Walk and Bike to School Day.

Walk and Bike to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling, as well as emphasizing the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children.

“We believe having teachers and administrators walking with children to and from their homes builds a sense of community, which we, as a school, have been attempting to foster,” said Carrie Boyer, PK-2 pod principal.

The three new organizations provided helmets, reflectors for the bikes and water bottles to the children.

“We’ve had an increasing number of kindergarten students achieving 94 percent attendance every year over the last three to four years,” Boyer said. “Kids — and their parents — are excited about the possibility of getting new bikes.”

Jessica Drake said three of her children received bicycles through this program.

“It has been wonderful,” Drake said. “Although they are out of kindergarten, each of my older children have worked to make sure they have good attendance in school.”

Her daughter, Elena Lewis, 6, sat on her new bicycle and said she loves its color.

rsmith@tribtoday.com

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