Four students from the Bradley County and Cleveland City school systems were recognized Thursday morning for their perfect attendance with a special gift from the Masonic Lodge 134.
Each child received a voucher for a bike from Scott’s Bicycle Centre.
Mason Billy Heron said the club has been a part of the community since 1848. It is important to the lodge to give back to Cleveland and Bradley County.
“All we are trying to do is instill at a young age the importance of being at school every day,” he said. “That will carry on through the rest of their life in work or whatever. We want to remind them they get rewarded for good effort.”
Hunter Watson of Stuart Elementary said he was really surprised when he heard his name had been drawn for the bike.
The bike came just in time as his current one recently went out of commission.
Added Hunter, “I am going to take care of [the new bike].”
Both Hunter and his mother, Brandy, said attending school was important to the young elementary student who wanted to receive the perfect attendance award. The bike was an unforseen bonus.
“I think it is awesome that they reward them with something to show it is important to go every day,” Brandy said. “It makes a difference. His younger brother will now be like, ‘Well, I want to go every day because I want a bike.’”
Black Fox Elementary student Jalaya Cook agreed school attendance is important for success in the present and future.
“If you don’t go to school every day and you are just lazy, you’ll never learn anything,” she said. “If you don’t know anything, you can’t go to college or get a job.”
The young student admitted she was a little embarrassed when her name was announced over the intercom. Excitement soon gave way to shyness at the possibility of getting a hot pink bicycle.
Kyle Howard from North Lee expressed an interest in a red bicycle. He explained his principal told him about his name being drawn for one of the bikes in person. He plans to ride it all the time, especially with the summer months around the corner.
Mayfield Elementary’s Katia Gonzalez was just as shocked as her three peers to hear her name announced after the drawing.
“I did not know [about the drawing],” she said. “I was pretty surprised because I did not know I was going to win a bike or that I was in a drawing.”
Continued Katia, “My friends thought it was really cool. They told me I should go with a pink or a lime green bicycle.”
The young students and their family can go to Scott’s Bicycle Centre to retrieve their awards.
Mason Barry Phillips said the lodge chose the centre for a specific reason.
“We use them because we want quality bicycles,” he said. “We didn’t want to put a kid on a bike that would be broken by the end of summer. We want the bikes to last.”
Added Heron, “Scott’s Bikes works well with us because they take the time to help the parent and the child pick out the right type and size of bicycle. They do a lot for the community, also.”