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Bikes for Kids at Gate City Charter

Student essay writers recognized for their achievements (L-R): Ny’ala Nyajeka, London Brown and Kevin McKenzie. Photo by Ivan Saul Cutler/Carolina Peacemaker.

Gate City Charter Academy students gleefully respond to the news that every student will receive a bicycle. Photo by Ivan Saul Cutler/Carolina Peacemaker.
All third-grade students at Greensboro’s Gate City Charter Academy screamed and jumped for joy when they learned each would receive a new Jiffy bicycle and safety helmet.

In a special school assembly to award bicycles only to three students recognized for their essays on confidence, responsibility, kindness and determination, the Bikes for Kids Foundation and Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball club informed the students that all of them would receive a new bicycle.

The carefully choreographed ruse involved teachers and leaders reading an essay, with the writer brought to the lectern to receive a bicycle. After the third essay was read and the essay writer was awarded, students began chanting “one more bike,” prompting Bikes for Kids President and author Bob Krumroy to call a meeting of school administrators and teachers “to do something.”

They huddled, feigned determined discussion and emerged moments later to deliver the joyful news that all students would receive bicycles. A cacophony of happy shouts and screams commenced. At that moment, a curtain opened to a stage filled with bicycles.

Bikes for Kids works with schools where the majority of the school’s population consists of underserved and economically disadvantaged children. Local donors raise and contribute funds for the bicycles. In pre-pandemic years, the organization awarded bicycles in dozens of Guilford County Title I schools.