Brand new bicycles serve as incentive for perfect attendance

(WMC-TV) - A district attorney's main job is serving justice. But Monday, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich took on another goal. She went into a Memphis school in an effort to keep young students in the classroom and out of the courtroom.

A shiny new bicycle sat on the stage at Hickory Ridge Elementary School, serving as motivation for students to stay in school, and show up every day -- on time.

"Reward those kids that are doing the right thing. Those kids that are having perfect attendance at the end of the year. That's a big accomplishment," said Weirich.

District Attorney Amy Weirch believes better attendance will not only help elementary and middle school students stay in school until graduation, but it could also put a serious dent in crime, which, of course, is Weirich's day job.

"Ever since kindergarten, I've always been at school on time and I've only missed one day of school my entire life," said Tervondra Phillips, who is in 7th grade.

Each child enrolled at participating schools, who have perfect attendance at the end of the year, will receive a new bicycle in return. Perfect attendance means no absences and no tardiness. The bikes will be purchased by the Hyde Family Foundation.

Hickory Ridge Elementary School's principal believes these bikes could be just what it takes.

"Our kids are coming to school, they are learning, and with this new bike incentive our attendance rate will probably go up another 2 percent with that," said Principal Cedric Smith.

Here is a list of participating Shelby County schools:

  • Ford Road Elementary
  • Hickory Ridge Elementary
  • Shannon Elementary
  • Westwood Elementary
  • Winridge Elementary
  • Chickasaw Middle School
  • Georgian Hills Middle School
  • Hamilton Middle School
  • Hickory Ridge Middle School
  • Ridgeway Middle School
  • Sherwood Middle School
  • Westside Middle School

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