Kempton Elementary Student Alondra Lopez received an unexpected present as a reward for her classroom achievements and role model behavior. The Salvation Army’s Bikes for Kids program presented Alondra with a new bicycle, helmet, and lock. As an extra present for the class, the bike was presented by NBC 7 weather reporter Whitney Southwick, who also featured the classroom as part of one of his newscasts.
Alondra is in a 2nd/3rd grade combination class and her teacher, Adriana Chee, noted that she has been working and behaving above grade level since kindergarten. According to Marie Romeo, the director of the Bikes for Kids program for the Salvation Army of San Diego, they have been distributing bicycles to children for 20 years. They visit one school a week, traveling across San Diego County. The children are nominated by teachers and principals based on classroom effort and achievement, good behavior, and family financial need.
Ms. Romeo said her favorite part of this program is getting to meet so many children from all over San Diego. She loves to see education at work in the classroom and how the children are all different yet have so much in common at the same time.
Mr. Southwick echoed these comments saying “It’s all about the kids”, and noting that it is great to be a part of something which encourages students to do well in school. He also gave a mini lesson to the class on bike safety and the importance of always wearing a helmet.
Principal Elisa Holston indicated that she is not only proud of Alondra, but of all of the hardworking Kempton students. When Mr. Southwick asked if any Spanish translation would be needed for the class, Ms. Holston stated with pride that the students already had excellent bilingual skills.
Principal Holston said that she loves programs like Bikes for Kids because they reward hard work and effort. When students focus on learning and completing lessons they will ultimately earn rewards.