Dozens of students at East Knox County Elementary were rewarded for a job well done, receiving brand new bicycles for achieving perfect attendance in school.
It’s part of a broader initiative to keep kids in the classroom and out of trouble.
“Statistics show consistently that the further you go in school, the more likely you are to not get involved in crime, either as a victim or as a defendant,” District Attorney General Charme Allen said. “So, anything we can do to encourage children to stay in school, continue their education, be here, learn and progress and grow in a positive manner, and stay out of our system, is a win for the children and a win for us.”
This marks the third year for the Bike Reward program put together by General Allen, and the results are already showing. Only 11 students at East Knox County Elementary scored perfect attendance last year, compared to 79 this year.
Students said the incentive of getting a bike gave them a reason to show up to school more often and to set a goal and see it through.
“[I wanted] to feel happy and make my teachers proud,” fifth grader Marquese Sharp said.
Sharp said he went from few absences last year to zero this year, an accomplishment he can smile about.
“It makes me feel like I’ve made a good achievement,” he said.
The program aims to improve classroom attendance and academic performance across the area, shaping children into productive adults.
“We’re trying to instill in them the importance of education and let them know that at an early age… reward them and continue to do that throughout their educational career path and hopefully have better citizens and less crime on the back end,” General Allen said.
The DA’s office community affairs unit provided the new bicycles and the Epilepsy Foundation of East Tennessee donated the helmets.