Many smiling children left Wal-Mart with a new set of wheels for being good students throughout the school year.
The Kiwanis Club of Clinton awarded 13 bikes during its Terrific Kids program, sponsored for local children in Clinton City and Sampson County districts. Through the program, character development, self-esteem and perseverance are promoted. Larry McPhail of Ford of Clinton sponsors the event.
“It fills my heart with joy,” said Wendy Carr, president of the local Kiwanis Club. “I love that the club can do something so special for kids that may not get the opportunity to get a bike. We had someone come in who’s growing into one.”
“Terrific” is an acronym for Thoughtful, Enthusiastic, Respectful, Responsible, Inclusive, Friendly, Inclusive, Friendly, Inquisitive and Capable. During the year, classroom teachers establish goals to improve behavior, peer relationships, attendance or school work. Students who achieve the marks are recognized as Terrific Kids after being selected by their classroom teacher at awards programs at the end of each grading period.
A drawing system is used for the group of students recognized during the year. Later, selected students receive a bike, courtesy of Kiwanis and Ford of Clinton. Kiwanis member Pete Osborne said it was an awesome event.
“Putting a smile on the kids faces was just awesome,” Osborne said. “It’s an reward, they actually won that bike for their citizenship.”
Before the children left the store, safety was a priority for Wal-Mart’s Ronnie Monroe, when he adjusted the seat levels. The bicycle aisles at the store were filled with children gripping the handlebars of their new bikes.
“I love doing this,” Monroe said after taking bikes off the racks. “Making these adjustments to make these bicycles feel like they belong to each specific child is a really good feeling.”
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Kiwanis was founded in 1915 in Detroit. It has chapters throughout the world and provides assistance is many ways. According to the organization , members stage nearly 150,000 service projects and raise about $100 million each year for communities, families and projects. Some of the projects include The Eliminate Project, which include a goal to save millions of mother and babies from maternal/neonatal tetanus; and the Worldwide Service Project to eliminate Iodine Deficiency Disorders.
“That’s what our club is about,” Carr said. “It’s about serving the children in our community and changing their lives one kid at a time. It’s something small, but special we can do for the children.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.