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    Shelby County District Attorney to award bikes as part of plan to combat truancy

    By:
    Jody Callahan



    If students enrolled in 12 Shelby County Schools show up to class every day, and on time, they’ll be rewarded with brand new bikes at the end of the school year.

    On Monday morning, the Shelby County District Attorney announced the bike giveaway as part of its Truancy Reduction Program.

    The goal is to keep the kids in school and out of trouble, with the bikes as rewards. The Hyde Family Foundation is funding the program.

    “We are in these schools everyday stressing the importance of attendance. We thought it was important to reward those who are listening to our message. Thankfully, the Hyde Family Foundation quickly agreed to fund this idea,” District Attorney General Amy Weirich said in a statement. “We want all our kids in school everyday and riding a new bike in June.”

    To earn the bikes, students must have perfect attendance — meaning no absences and no tardiness — for this school year. The program includes about 7,500 students in 12 schools. The elementary schools included are Ford Road, Hickory Ridge, Shannon, Westwood and Winridge. The middle schools included are Chickasaw, Georgian Hills, Hamilton, Hickory Ridge, Ridgeway, Sherwood and Westside.

    Harold Collins with the DA’s office estimates they’ll give away around 150 bikes. No matter how many qualify, though, all will receive bikes from the Foundation, D.A. spokesman Vince Higgins said.

    The DA launched its Truancy Reduction Program in 2006 after data showed that 25 percent of juvenile crime in Memphis happened during school hours, but away from school campuses.
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