The Detroit Red Wings and Chevrolet today surprised more than 500 Detroit Public Schools Community District second graders from seven different schools with new bicycles. The event, which celebrated the students’ completion of the Road and Bicycle Safety Program, took place at Little Caesars Arena.
The students, who thought they were bussing to LCA to simply honor their completion of the course that started in April, also received helmets, locks, and bells celebrating their accomplishment.
The Red Wings and Chevrolet also donated more than 20 permanent bicycle racks to be placed outside respective Detroit schools.
“This has become one of my favorite events of the year,” says Chris Granger, group president of sports and entertainment for Ilitch Holdings Inc. “To see the ear-to-ear smiles from the students when they realize that they’re taking a bike home is a truly heartwarming moment. It’s an amazing initiative, and one that will greatly benefit the second graders in attendance today. We look forward to working with Chevrolet and DPSCD in future years to positively impact the youth of Detroit.”
Starting last month, the students practiced riding and learned vital road safety information during their physical education classes at each DPSCD school as part of the Road and Bicycle Program in partnership with Chevrolet. Today’s event honored not only the students’ accomplishment but May’s National Bike Month.
“Chevrolet and GM are passionate about our hometown and through our partnership with the Detroit Red Wings, we’re able to support the education of the next generation of Detroiters,” says Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of marketing for Chevrolet. “Surprising students with new bikes and gear helps them apply their newfound road and bike safety knowledge outside of the classroom.”
Each bicycle features a custom Michigan license plate representing all seven schools that participated in the Road and Bicycle Safety Program – Bagley Elementary, Brown Academy, Gompers Elementary, King Academic and Performing Arts Academy, Mason Elementary, Munger Elementary, and Spain Elementary.
In addition to the bicycles that were given to students, 11 bikes and accompanying equipment were gifted to each school in April to assist in the program curriculum. Each school will keep the bikes to continue the program in future years.
The bicycles were built at the DPSCD warehouse in Detroit. Volunteers from the Red Wings and Chevrolet individually tagged the bikes, helmets, and locks for each student. The bikes were then transported from the DPSCD warehouse to Little Caesars Arena by Chevrolet.
The Road and Bicycle Safety Program, in addition to STEM Day at Little Caesars Arena (which took place Feb. 26) serve as part of a long-term community impact investment between Chevrolet and the Red Wings within metro Detroit.