It all started last Wednesday when students, parents, the faculty of La Sal Elementary School, and others gathered for an assembly where local deputy Rhett Adair gave a presentation on bicycle safety.
His first words of advice were to always wear a helmet when riding. One young man raised his hand and said he did not have a helmet. Deputy Adair reached behind the stage curtains and brought forth a shiny new helmet and handed it to the student. As he attempted to proceed with his safety talk, a young girl raised her hand and said she didn’t even have a bike. Again, Deputy Adair reached behind the stage curtain, this time pulling out a shiny new bike. At this point, the students were jumping up and down with excitement wondering what was happening!
School helpers opened the magic stage curtains to reveal a line of shiny new bikes, enough for every student in the school. The parents were also very excited although they were in on the surprise from nearly the start.
Several months ago, head teacher Amanda Shupe was contacted by San Juan Health saying that they were giving the school a donation to help kids with their needs. She spent a lot of time thinking and figuring and investigating and decided that there was enough money to buy each child a new bike or scooter
Ms. Shupe contacted parents who were excited about the plan. Parents helped pick out the best conveyance for their student(s) but there were stipulations attached. First, it had to remain a secret. Second, parents were expected to help assemble the bikes. And last, the bikes could be passed on, but never sold. The parents were all in agreement.
You’ve never seen such excitement. It was as good or better than Christmas. The kids soon dispersed with their new bikes and helmets and began riding all over the playground. It was a joyous sight. At the end of the school day, parents loaded up the kids and bikes and headed home where I know they continued to enjoy their new treasures.
This was all made possible by the San Juan Health KIND project. KIND stands for Kids In Need Donation. The 120 employees of San Juan Health donate to the fund. Local citizens and businesses also contribute as well as others who interact with local health facilities. By December 10 the donation window closes and a committee reviews submissions from local schools (Monticello, Blanding, Dove Creek, and La Sal) and distributes the funds. They must be used for students’ needs. It’s a great program and I know at least one person in La Sal who will be sure to contribute next year.
There is nothing so joyful as seeing excited, happy kids!