It has become a holiday tradition for Academy Sports + Outdoors to distribute bikes to schools in Orleans or Jefferson Parish. This year, Harriet Tubman Charter School was selected as the lucky school to receive new bikes for 50 of its students just before winter break.
“Academy really wants to show that we are more than just a sports store,” said Aaron*, the Team Sports Manager at the Academy Sports in Gretna.
Aaron , who used to work with the YMCA, identifies himself as a “someone who cares a lot about kids…we really wanted to show local students that their hard work pays off. We think that a bike is a great gift, as it can be used for exercise and fun. It also provides kids with freedom.”
“When you get home after school you can hop on the bike, ride to another neighborhood, and make new friends,” added Aaron .
Angelo Cross, the Director of Family and Community at Harriet Tubman Charter School, described how Tubman thinks about achievement and how the school selected which scholars would receive the bikes.
“I think we do a great job of pumping up growth and achievement at Tubman in a variety of ways throughout the year. I think what made the bike giveaway a hit was that it was such a surprise, students were not working based on the idea that they were going to win a bike, but really focused on trying to improve their scores.”
“Fifty students in kindergarten through fourth grade were selected to receive the bikes. We chose students who had the highest absolute scores on a recent test, as well as those students who had demonstrated the most improvement. Initially, I think scholars were just excited to hear that they had scored high or greatly improved. It was such an unexpected bonus to receive something like a bike as a result of their hard work.”
Cross finds that students are already benefiting from the bikes.
“I’ve already heard from several parents that students were using their new bikes over the winter break. Bike winners who have older siblings with bikes were especially excited…now they can keep up with their big brother or sister,” said Cross.
*To protect the privacy of their employees, it is the policy of Academy Sports to withhold the last names of their employees.
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