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Perfect attendance
Community bike giveaway gets underway to Riley Elementary
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Four students at Riley Elementary School are shown with the bicycles they won Tuesday for a year of perfect attendance. The winners are, from left: Angel Herrera, Milagros Orozco, Natalia Rodriguez and Oliva Scott. - photo by photos by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

With students counting the days remaining in the school year, Riley Elementary took care of some final business on Tuesday. Other schools will follow suit heading toward Thursday, May 24, the last day of school.
One year-end tradition is the Bike Giveaway to promote perfect attendance. For the sixth year, a group of community members bought four Trek Mountain Bikes for each of the district’s five elementary schools. Riley students assembled in the gym for the presentation.
“In order to win one of these cool bikes, you had to be here every single day for the entire school year,” Principal JoAnn Blevins said. Students with perfect attendance get their names in a drawing for the bikes. In the case of Riley Elementary, where only four students had perfect attendance, all four were automatic winners and will start the summer with a new set of wheels.
Winners were first graders Angel Herrera and Milagros Orozco, and third graders Natalia Rodriguez and Oliva Scott.
The community group has now given away more than 100 bicycles, said Karen Shaner, who coordinates the community project. “The donors would like to thank all students for their hard work and dedication during the school year.”
More bikes will be delivered next week to Lincoln, Jefferson, Eisenhower and Park schools.
There were 18 individuals or families that donated money to buy the bicycles, and “a big thank you goes out” to Todd VanSkyke, who assembled them, Shaner said.

More to celebrate
Blevins had more winners to announce on Tuesday. All year along, students who exhibit good behavior or earn a pat on the back get their names written on slips of paper and they become eligible for prize drawings. The end of school brings the best prizes of the year, and a tub full of slips to draw from.
“It’s the end of the year and it’s time to celebrate,” Blevins said. “I’m thinking about all the cool things we did this year and how hard we worked.”
They also worked hard on fundraisers so they school can have an electronic sign. Blevins said students sold Red Wheel products and bought suckers, and the Parent Teacher Organization sold food at the Cinco de Mayo festival. Now, with a family’s $1,000 gift, the school has met its goal and can purchase the $10,000 sign.