For several years now, local donors have purchased bicycles to give away at the end of each school year as an incentive for good attendance. Students at Great Bend USD 428’s five elementary schools are entered in a Perfect Attendance Bike drawing if they have no absences or tardies for the entire year.
After schools closed in March, the decision was made to go ahead with the bike drawing to qualifying students.
Program organizer Karen Shaner noted that the challenges faced this school year have nothing to do with the dedication and hard work of those qualifying students.
“The bike giveaway drawing is in its eighth year and with the generous donations by The Midwest Energy Community Fund and Walmart, along with all the generous donations from our donors, we were able to purchase 31 bicycles,” Shaner said. “We would like to thank all the students for your hard work and dedication during the school year. We would also like to thank those who make it possible for the students to be on time and not miss out on a day of learning.”
While the excitement of an all-school assembly was replaced with phone calls to families, photos of pick-up day show a glimpse of students’ excitement and joy, said Andrea Bauer, USD 428 public information director.
Riley Elementary created a virtual assembly on its Facebook page, with Principal Beth Rein and others at the school holding the drawing.
This was the first year that each school received six bikes, but sponsors note that attendance has other increased over the years. Riley School received a seventh bicycle for its first-ever preschool recipient.
“This is an amazing program that honors our well-deserving perfect attendance students,” said Khris Thexton, USD 428 superintendent. “We greatly appreciate the dedication of our students and families to accomplish perfect attendance - it takes a lot of work! We are fortunate to have such a great program organized by Karen Shaner and generous community sponsors to celebrate this notable accomplishment.”
Donors and helpers
Sponsors thanked Darwin, Devin, Breanne and Colton Schloemer for the pickup of all 31 bicycles, and the USD 428 team for delivering bikes to all five public schools.
All of the donors who made the giveaway possible were also recognized: Bauer, Pike, Bauer, Wary, Carroll LLC; Isern and Carpenter Law; Dr. William King; Ron and Kathy Straub; Mark and Leslie Mingenback; Dr. Larry and Anne Kutina; Dr. Tom Vernon; Dr. Perry and Krista Smith; OPI; Farmers Bank and Trust; Marmie Motors; Community Bank of The Midwest; William Niedree, DVM -Countryside; Club 1 Fitness; Dawson Jewelers; Doris Spray; Gregg and Maggie Reinhardt; Eldridge Fencing; First Kansas Bank; Craig and Kari Smith; Joe and Loretta Southard; Home Lumber & Supply; Gerald and Glenna Achatz; Tanner Schloemer; Dale and Karen Shaner; Darwin and Marty Schloemer; Sutherlands.