The spirit of volunteering and giving back to communities is alive and well at CPL, especially for team members in Greensboro, NC. The office ended the year 2019 on a major high note after teaming up with the nationally recognized, Bikes for Kids Foundation, to sponsor a touching and unforgettable event for students at Guilford Elementary School.
Through a bike reward program, a partnership with the school system and two years of classroom study, the Bikes for Kids Foundation aims to inspire third and fourth grade Title 1 students to plan now for post high school education.
Since 2002, the Foundation has impacted over 57,000 economically disadvantaged children by delivering hope for big dreams that build clarity, confidence, responsibility, kindness and determination. Utilizing character-building books, classroom instruction and required essays, they ultimately reward the student’s reading and completed essay with a bike and helmet – an earned gift that makes a profound difference in their lives.
CPL became aware of this special organization when the Foundation President, Bob Krumroy, reached out to CPL Principal, Tom Phoenix, P.E., LEED AP, FASHRAE.
“Once I heard Bob explain the Foundation’s mission to help deliver hope and confidence to students at underserved elementary schools, there was no hesitation for us to jump in and help where we could,” said Phoenix.
The Foundation is powered entirely by volunteers, which allows all funds raised to be allocated directly to the purchase of new bicycles and helmets. CPL team members were asked to volunteer their time to assist with bike assembly.
“Our office was ecstatic to help with the assembly effort,” said architectural team member, Lauren Beverly. “We were all so inspired by the way in which this program changes the lives of these children. They aren’t just given the bikes, they actually earn them.”
Focusing on the lesson, “Nothing is given, everything is earned,” CPL’s sponsored class of third graders at Guilford Elementary School were asked to read the book, “Think Big, Work Hard, Be Kind, No Excuses,” and then write an essay.
“The teachers told them that bikes would be given to three lucky students with the best essays,” said Beverly. “But that wasn’t entirely true.”
On the day of the event, after three essays were read aloud and three students were chosen to receive bikes, a large curtain opened to unveil an overwhelming surprise. The other students were utterly shocked to see a whole slew of bikes that each one of them would be taking home, too.
“To say the kids went crazy over the news would be an understatement,” said Beverly. “It was hard not to get emotional as we saw students screaming and jumping up and down. Those children have big dreams and winning those bikes affirmed that if they work hard, their dreams can come true.”
“Seeing the joy on the faces of those third graders and their parents was priceless,” said Phoenix. “I know it was a day that those kids will never forget, and neither will I.”
Video Credit: Bikes for Kids Foundation
Title 1 students are from families who are struggling to live with incomes below the poverty level. And while these students face challenging issues and complex risk factors, the Bikes for Kids Foundation is dedicated to redefining the so-called “stats” on these children. They believe in their program, which says “a kind gesture, a vote of confidence, and a message of ‘we believe in you’ can change a life forever.”
To date, the Foundation has assembled more than 57,000 bikes for students at 723 elementary schools. CPL’s Greensboro office was thrilled to be a sponsor for this heartwarming organization and appreciative of the opportunity to impact local children’s lives.