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Bike giveaway drives student success in Klein, Spring, Cy-Fair

October 12, 2018

Two years ago, Chris Cullins was awarding bicycles to students at Reynolds Elementary School in Spring ISD and was surprised when one of the recipients asked for the microphone.

“I looked at the principal, who said, ‘Yeah, give it to him,’” Cullins said. “The young boy grabbed the mic and said, ‘I’d like to award this bicycle to my best friend — come on up.’”

The actions of the young boy reflected a phrase Rotarians know well — “service above self,” which is the motto of Rotary International, a nonprofit organization with clubs in communities across the globe. Cullins is a member of the Champions Sunrise Rotary Club.

Champions Sunrise Rotary launched an initiative called Pedaling for Success in 2003. The program is intended to incentivize students to attend school and succeed academically. The goal of Pedal for Success is not only to help students get better grades, but also to help schools with revenue, which is affected by student attendance.

Every semester, Champions Sunrise Rotary purchases two bikes for every elementary school in Klein ISD, as well as some in Spring ISD and Cy-Fair ISD.

“Typically, towards the end of the spring and fall semesters, we attend an assembly where the bikes are presented to one boy and one girl for good attendance, grades and behavior,” said Phil Graiff, president of the Champions Sunrise Rotary Club.

When Pedaling for Success first began, the Rotary club provided bikes to only a few schools they felt were most in need. Today, the Pedaling for Success program serves 38 schools across the northwest Houston area.

Funding for the bicycles comes from the Champions Sunrise Rotary’s annual golf tournament fundraiser, which raises between $15,000 and $20,000 a year — most of which goes towards Pedaling for Success.

Champions Sunrise Rotarians are preparing to order bikes from Academy for this semester’s giveaway. Academy helps by giving a discount and assembling the bikes so they’re ready to be delivered to schools.

mfeuk@hcnonline.com

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