By: Sherry Williams Kidd | Twitter: @DinwiddieMonitr
Posted: January 1, 2019 | 2:45 p.m.
DINWIDDIE – Right before their holiday break, students at Sutherland Elementary School were giddy with excitement as the ever-popular “Pedaling for Performance” bike giveaway returned for its fifth year last Wednesday afternoon.
The program, wildly popular with the students, is spearheaded each year by the school’s Resource Officer, Zachary Hare, along with his K9 sidekick, Officer Zoe.
The “Pedaling for Performance” program was established five years ago. At the time of the program’s inception, the school was able to award one bike to a deserving student for every grade level. Since then, generous sponsors and contributors from the Dinwiddie community have made it possible for the program to award one bicycle to a deserving student for every single home-room in the entire school! This is a total of 30 bikes! Over the past five years, this program has allowed Sutherland Elementary to award over 130 bicycles to deserving students! Wow—that’s a lot of pedaling!
“Students are challenged throughout the year to practice good behavior and citizenship,” said Officer Hare. “When students are observed practicing this type of outstanding behavior, they are awarded weekly tickets. The students earn these tickets for many reasons. It can be for something as simple as having a good day in class, to helping another student, or anything that demonstrates good citizenship.”
After a joyous Christmas celebration, the winners of this year’s “Pedaling for Performance” program were announced. There was an audible buzz of excitement from students, teachers, and members of the administration alike. The buzz grew louder as the presentations drew nearer. Santa, along with Officer Hare, presented bicycles to the students. The jubilant applause and roar of the crowd as the bikes were presented, along with the sheer excitement of those students awarded this years’ bikes, was indeed one of those unforgettable heartwarming holiday moments for everyone in attendance.
From the look of sheer joy and pride on the faces of these children, they will carry this significant accomplishment that they received from Sutherland Elementary School with them for the rest of their lives.
This year’s winners were: Kindergarten – Mona’jah Johnson, Byran Machado-Aguilar, Kaiden Nivens, Samirah Peterson, Liberty Wilson, and Emma Childers. First-grade Students: Noah Parrish, Caylee Kitchen, Zayvion Graves, O’Brian Hargrave, and Jhase Wiggins. Second-grade Students: Jaliyah Mason, Kaydyn O’Carroll, Amari Robinson, Landon Kirby, and Kaylee Elmore. Third-grade Students: Riley Powell, Briana Eberhardt, Riley McSherry, Max Mace, and Tabetha Taylor. Fourth-grade Students: Charlotte Stebbins, Lana Scott, Isabella Thomas, Jakaree Lewis, and Aliyah Hill. Fifth-grade Students: Darryl Stewart, Clarese Mace, Terzia Walker, Jeremy Clarke, and Heissel Lima-Alvarado. Congratulations to all!
“This year, I also decided to give a bike to one student from each of the four other elementary schools,” said Officer Hare. “I have spent a lot of time out in the community asking for donations from many citizens and businesses around Dinwiddie. I must say that our county is extremely generous, and I am so grateful for everyone’s help. I have even had residents that found out about the program, come out to the school to donate.”
What an amazing early Christmas gift—a shiny new bicycle! Way to go students! If you didn’t get one of the bikes this year, no worries.
Next year is coming! Start earning those tickets for good citizenship as soon as you return from Christmas vacation!