(WMC) – The start of a new school year means another chance for Shelby County students to get their hands on a new bike ... but there's a catch.
The bikes will go to students with perfect attendance. Students are to have no tardies, no early dismissals, no excused absences and no unexcused absences as part of the District Attorney's Truancy Reduction Program.
The program has already been a big success; 303 students received bikes last spring. That's more than double the number expected.
"Because of the success we had last year, we are looking for more sponsors," said Harold Collins, coordinator of the Truancy Reduction Program. "We want to reward every student who achieves perfect attendance."
The participating elementary schools include Corning, Ford Road, Hickory Hill, Westwood and Winridge. The middle schools include Chickasaw, Georgian Hills, Hamilton, Hickory Ridge, Ridgeway and Sherwood.
The goal isn't just to keep kids in school. Studies show it can also cut down on crime.
During the 2005-2006 school year, the review of crime conducted by the district attorney's office showed one quarter of juvenile crime in Memphis occurred during school hours away from campus, most likely involving kids who were out of school or expelled.
The bikes offer kids something to look forward to after school.
If you want to learn more about this program, click here: http://www.scdag.com/preventingcrime/mentoring.