Two former Newark residents recently helped 18 elementary students who attended summer school purchase new bicycles, helmets and locking devices.
Certificates were presented to students on the last day of summer school classes at Perkins School by Newark Police Chief David Christler. The certificates were redeemable at the local Walmart.
Christler was approached in June by the couple, who desired to establish a fund administered by Newark Police Department to purchase bicycles “for deserving young people who, for whatever reason, did not have a bike or had performed a service worthy of reward.”
“The couple knew how bike ownership influenced their lives when they were young, and now it seemed right for them to pass on their good fortunes,” Christler said. “Both wished to remain anonymous, and preferred that the Newark Police Department determine the winners and use this tool to establish a bond with the community youth. They are truly a wonderful couple and the community is blessed to be a benefactor of their spirit of giving. Establishing the account was easy. The more difficult part was determining the criteria for the bike awards.”
It was decided, based on input from Matt Cook, Newark Central School District superintendent; Kari Hamelinck, instructional coach at Perkins and Lincoln schools and elementary summer school principal; and summer school teacher representatives, that bicycles should be awarded based on students’ positive attitudes, good citizenship and good summer school attendance.
One student from each class was selected to be awarded for their service to the class and the community.
Hamelinck said students receiving the bicycle award certificates were amazed.
“They were surprised and somewhat stunned,’’ she said. “A bicycle is a huge acknowledgement of their hard work and effort.”
Christler said the couple sponsoring this program has indicated a desire to keep the account funded “for as long as it is useful.” Going forward, he said NPD will continue to work with the school district to continue the bicycle awards program in spring 2018.
“The Newark Central School District is so appreciative of this couple’s kindness and generosity,” Cook said. “Clearly their desire to help children have a safe and fun experience of living in Newark mirrors Chief Christler’s outlook, and is just one of the reasons we are so fortunate to have such a great working relationship with the village.”