Lowcountry Success Story--2017

Many have heard the story of the one teacher who wanted to make a difference in North Charleston, South Carolina. Katie Blomquist raised over $80,000 to buy bikes for each one of the students at Pepperhill Elementary in the Spring of 2017. The bike giveaway attracted the attention of Hollywood entertainer/TV & radio personality Steve Harvey and local businesses like Kickin’ Chicken and Affordabike.

The day the bikes were given to the students was an exciting day at Pepperhill Elementary. Enthusiasm spread through the walls out to the playground (see link below). However, before it was time to give students the bikes, community partners and friends of the South Carolina Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Resource Center came together to prepare students for the responsibility that comes with owning a bike.

The local team worked to figure out what the students needed to learn. First, the students would have to be trained on the rules of the road. The North Charleston Police Bike Team held a Safety Assembly for the 650 students who would be receiving bikes. Next, the Resource Center worked with Community Friends, Safekids Charleston Area and the North Charleston Police Bike Team, to hold a bike rodeo. Students learned how to stop a bike with brakes, how to control the bike while riding slowly, hand signals, and how to properly wear a helmet. Finally, students were given maintenance instructions with their new bikes from Affordabike.

This is how the SC SRTS Resource Center works with its Community Friends and partners.  We each bring our expertise to the table and work together to teach students how to be safe while biking or walking.  What a privilege it was to be a part of such a wonderful time at Pepperhill Elementary!