Sheri Samson
Third grade students from Hawthorne Elementary School were all smiles during their “Bike Day” trip to Veterans Park for lunch.

In January, it was difficult for a third grader in Tricia Schumann’s class to envision the tradition of a “Bike Day” ever happening. This teacher spoke of riding their bikes on an outdoor excursion to Veteran’s Park, eating sack lunches then having an ice cream desert at McDonalds, but it seemed like a dream date at that point.

Then over several months the class realized it was a goal they could achieve, as many before them had done so. With a focused reward in sight, students began seeing the weather change, as well as their attitudes. Bike Day finally became a reality to them on this week’s sunniest of days, as dandelions were popping up in the greenest of grass and their colored backpacks hung along the chain-link fence like it was laundry day.

It would be hard to miss their individualized bicycles parked along the outside fencing on Thursday’s reward day. Primary colors were bursting from their spring clothing as outdoor games came alive with balls bouncing on the lawn while other third graders were bobbing out from under a clownish parachute.

“My class is totally engaged today and have really taken this annual Bike Day seriously. It takes months to get the students and parents on board but it’s worth it. They enjoy being outside and involved in group games. It is such a treat eating at the park and then finishing up with a desert at their favorite McDonalds. I love seeing them out here and engaged in the community and what our town has to offer,” Schumann expressed.

The students planned to ride their own bikes over to the park, backpacks in tow. Helper and parent, Melissa Isom, rode her bike along with the crowd from the school location to Veteran’s Park. Assistance Carol Munger elected to meet them at the park, as she prepared tables for their arrival and added another set of eyes to watch the kid’s excitement.

“The kid’s really love this and it gives them a chance to feel special. Simply things can say so much – just an outing and a picnic style, sack lunch. Wasn’t hard but it sure made these kids happy today,” Munger shared.