Triking a difference

Published 10:15 am Monday, April 19, 2010

They may still be young, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do their part to make a difference.

On Friday and again this Tuesday, Glenville-Emmons Preschool students are riding bikes and trikes in a trike-a-thon to raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital — all while at the same time learning about bicycle and tricycle safety.

Preschool and kindergarten teacher Megan Flatness, who helped organize the event, said this is the second year the preschoolers have taken part in the trike-a-thon.

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She said she has always been interested in raising money for researching children’s illnesses, and last year she was asked by a St. Jude representative if the school would be interested in holding a fundraiser for the hospital. The hospital offers the option for the children to participate in a trike-a-thon and sends informational and educational materials to use in the classroom.

The preschoolers have been working for the last three weeks to learn about bicycle and tricycle safety, watching two-minute videos provided by the hospital for each safety lesson.

The lessons are to always wear your helmet, never ride in the street, always watch where you are going and always be careful near the driveway.

The children are also given stickers and a coloring book to use during the three-week period, and Flatness also implements her own materials to educate the children on the importance of safety, she said.

The students have been excited to learn the safety lessons and also help others like themselves at the same time, she noted. They’ve watched clips that show children who are actual patients of the hospital and have learned how sad they would be if they were in a hospital all day and couldn’t ride their bikes or play outside.

After seeing the video clips, many students have been asking their friends, parents and relatives to donate money to help the sick children.

Nineteen students rode on Friday, and there could be 13 to also participate on Tuesday.

Flatness said last year the trike-a-thon raised almost $900, and they hope to raise even more money this year.

If anyone would like to donate to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, they can send a donation to the school — attention to Flatness — and the money will be sent with the donation from the Glenville-Emmons Preschool.

Flatness can be reached by e-mail at