Academy donates bikes, helmets to students

Published 10:15 am Friday, December 16, 2016

Jaiyden Almendarez stood next to his brand new bicycle with a beaming smile.

“I’m happy I got a bike,” Almendarez, a second-grader at Sam Houston Elementary School, said. “My dad is going to teach me how to ride.”

Almendarez is one of 30 Sam Houston school students who got a new bike and helmet courtesy of Academy Sports and Outdoors on Thursday.

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The bike giveaway came as a surprise to students, who were in the cafetorium for a holiday program. Academy Store Manager Jen Veitch and other employees rolled a few of the bikes to the front of the room where Principal Marcia Sharp announced the names of the winning students.

“This feels good,” Sharp said after the presentation. “We are so grateful to join hands with Academy to promote education and rewarding students.”

Sharp said the students were rewarded for good behavior and being most improved in their grades.

“The kids are very deserving and have put forth so much effort,” Sharp said.

The bulk of the bicycles were lined up by threes down a hallway, where first graders Yamil Avila and Jacob Ramirez stood next to their respective bicycles with helmets. Nearby, Lachelle and Derrick Boutte watched as son Daquaylon Bernard, fifth grade, found his bike.

Veitch watched as the excited students walked by, calling it rewarding.

This marks the 15th year Academy has donated bikes to local schools. The program occurs throughout December across Academy’s 16-state footprint and benefits more than 4,500 boys and girls at more than 140 separate donation events, according to Academy.