Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Clank of ChainGang

The Martinsville City Police Department
and Activate Martinsville Henry County teamed up to revive the local ChainGang “Earn a Bike” Program. This program teaches students how to repair and maintain bikes while educating them on the importance of helmet and bike safety.

The first graduating class for the rejuvenated program was recognized during a ceremony hosted by Activate on Monday, June 3rd. Parents, officials and volunteers were in attendance
as students were presented a certificate of completion and their recycled bike.
School Resource Officer, Vollie Norris, acknowledged the accomplishments of each student and talked about how they had grown over the five week course. Norris told those in attendance,“though we hope to serve even more students each year, we want it to remain a place where each student can receive individual attention and where we can provide a constructive environment for local youth after school. These students not only learned hands on skills in bike repair and safety but also how to respect one another”.
Jeannie Frisco, Activate Program Director thanked the various partners and sponsors that made the program successful. “The community really came through for us. We have over 100 bikes waiting to be repaired and we are still receiving calls from our citizens who want to donate their old bikes so that even more children can be served.”

During the ceremony, Frisco acknowledged each volunteer that took
time out of their day to be there for the students. She also thanked
Cardinal Bike out of Roanoke, Virginia for allowing their employees to assess each bike donated to determine the necessary bike parts needed for proper repair. The bike shop also provided training for free to ChainGang volunteers, City Police Department Officers and Activate staff. Frisco also acknowledged one vital partner. “Without the donation of the use of a facility by Tim and Fred Martin with Fred Martin Associates, this program would not have happened.” Frisco said.

At the conclusion of the program, students enjoyed riding their bikes to their homes.

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