It was a very, merry day on Thursday, December 21, 2017—the last school day before holiday break— for ten 5th graders at the Eduardo Mata Elementary School in East Dallas. While dressed in their PJ’s for “pajama day,” three very happy boys and seven girls paraded into the school auditorium to receive their brand new bikes and helmets. The Christmas Bike Giveaway was launched by East Dallas Entrepreneur, Matthew Newman. Sponsors included the official bike sponsor, Richardson Bike Mart -White Rock Lake, as well as the YMCA—White Rock Lake, Concord Church, House of Artists and the Grant Source App.
“It was an extraordinary day and it warmed my heart to see the smiles on all the students’ faces, says Matthew Newman, founder of For the Life of You Mentoring Foundation that launched the Christmas Bike Giveaway campaign. “These students were passionate and wrote very persuasive essays to make the case as to why they should receive a new bike. These kids earned it!” Newman states.
In addition to the ten bikes, Mr. Newman presented a check to the Eduardo Mata Elementary School PTA in the amount of $150 (10% of the donations received for the bike giveaway). Also during the program, Dallas Independent School District Police Department Chief Miller and Chief Rodriguez had remarks, and Officer Victoria Tsalikis discussed bike safety and road rules with the students.
“It was a fantastic event and we’re very glad we were asked to be a part of it. The kids were ecstatic, their parents and teachers were proud, the PTA was happy and the DISD PD were great partners! It was a great way to start the holiday!” shares Mark Manson, General Manager of Richardson Bike Mart—White Rock Lake, which was the event’s official Bike Sponsor.
The 5th graders submitted essays entitled, “What a new bike will mean to me” to nominate themselves for the bike giveaway. The 3-5 paragraph essays submitted by the students were reviewed by a panel of judges utilizing criteria based on the “Persuasive Rubric” provided by the Dallas Independent School District. On Thursday, December 21st at 1:30 PM, ten students were surprised with their new bike during a special presentation for them and their families, in the school auditorium.
When asked his motivation for initiating the Christmas Bike Giveaway, Matthew Newman had a simple answer. “I remember being that young boy wishing for a new bike for Christmas. And today, a bike is not just a “joy ride” for some of these kids. Often it’s their lifeline to getting to school on time, participating in sports and other extracurricular activities.”