San Bernardino Sheriff’s Dept.
Rancho Cucamonga – Christmas came early for 22 children of the Northtown community thanks to a unique, merit-based bicycle giveaway program that focuses on improvements of students in school and their commitment to community service.
The Rancho Police Department and Northtown Community Center hosted the second annual Bike Giveaway event Thursday night at the neighborhood community center.
The students received brand new bicycles, courtesy of Target in Rancho Cucamonga, as a reward for their good attendance, great citizenship and improved grades.
Unlike similar giveaway programs in the county, this was created to encourage — and reward – improved participation in school and the community. More than 40 children from the North Town Community, grades 4 to 5, applied for consideration to the program. Deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, as well as leaders from the North Town Community, monitored the nominees’ grades, citizenship and attendance by collaborating with school officials.
It is important to note it is not mandatory for participants to have stellar grades, attendance or citizenship to apply. All they need is a willing-ness to do better in school and in their community. Winners are chosen based on overall improvement, not simply a grade point average.
The finalists were chosen based on the above-mentioned criteria, with consideration given to 5th graders because it was the last year they were eligible for the program. Those in the lower grades still have coming years to win.
The purpose of the program is two-fold: to provide a true incentive for children to strive for academic and civic excellence; as well as to bring together law enforcement, community/business leaders and educators for the common goal of motivating our youth.
All 22 bicylces were graciously donated and assembled by Target in Rancho Cucamonga.Initially, only 20 bikes were allotted for the giveaway but 22 students showed they truly deserved a reward and Target pitched in to donate the additional two bicycles. Carol Norris, a leader in the Northtown community, and Patti Coral, Vice Principal of Cucamonga Elementary, were integral in finding families to participate in the program. Sheriff’s Department officials plan to continue the bike give-away each year and give the children of Northtown an increased incentive to strive for greatness.