Kids surprised with bicycles at elementary school

KENNETT, MO (KAIT) - Christmas came a little early for some elementary students in Region 8 Friday. One hundred specially selected students  at South Elementary in Kennett were called to an assembly this morning where 100 brand new bicycles were unveiled.

National Account Manager for the USS Foundation, Scott St. Clair told Region 8 News this isn't the first set of bikes they've given away.
"We've been all over the country. We've been to Michigan, we've been to Louisiana, Mississippi...across the nation. We've given away 700 bikes so far this season," St. Clair said.
He said the reaction on the kid's faces is great. "It's amazing. Joy, elation, and just to see the look on their face when they get that bike and get to ride away with it, it's great."
This is the third year the USS Foundation has donated bicycles to schools across the nation. When the program started, they gave bikes to kids in Zambia, Africa.
The USS Foundation contacted South Elementary in November.
"We were very blessed to get chosen," School Counselor, Jennifer Nigut said. "There was no question about "did we want to do it or not?" We ran with it."
Nigut said they had roughly 15 days to decide on a criteria for which students would receive the bikes. She said, in the end, they chose from students who attend their after-school program.
"They put forth the effort by attending school for an hour after school four days a week so we thought it best to award them," she explained.
There are 170 students in the after school program. Nigut said they then narrowed it down by choosing the top 100 children with the best attendance records.
Of those students, Breanna Parrent received a new bike. She told Region 8 News she was nervous when she went into the assembly. Her parents, Angie and Allen Jones said this goes to show how hard work pays off.
"We feel blessed that she was chosen," Angie Jones said. "She works hard. I think she's really worked hard and she loves going to tutoring."
The bikes arrived at the elementary school Thursday afternoon. Specialists from Memphis spent the night installing the bicycles. They were at the school til 11p.m. putting them together in preparation of Friday's big assembly.

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