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Chevrolet, Red Wings provide 500 new bicycles to students from DPSCD

For second straight year, Red Wings partner with Chevrolet to surprise more than 500 second grade students from seven Detroit schools with bikes and equipment

by Alex DiFilippo & Brett McWethy / DetroitRedWings.com

Reveal event celebrates culmination of Road & Bicycle Safety curriculum taught in physical education classes
Red Wings and Chevrolet also donate more than 20 permanent bicycle racks to be placed outside respective schools in Detroit

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings and Landmark-partner Chevrolet today surprised more than 500 second grade students from seven schools within the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) with brand-new bicycles, helmets, locks and bells, in conjunction with the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. The new bikes, unveiled at Little Caesars Arena, celebrate students' completion of the Road & Bicycle Safety Program.

Starting in April, the students practiced riding and learned vital road safety information during Physical Education classes at each DPSCD school as part of the Road & Bicycle Program in partnership with Chevrolet. In conjunction with May's "National Bike Month," participating students believed they were bussing to Little Caesars Arena on Wednesday to simply honor their completion of the educational course before the Red Wings and Chevrolet revealed each student would receive a brand-new bicycle.

"This has become one of my favorite events of the year. 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," said Chris Granger, Group President, Sports & Entertainment, Ilitch Holdings, Inc. "We want to thank our partners at Chevrolet for their commitment, along with the Physical Education teachers at the Detroit Public Schools Community District for their participation in the Road & Bicycle Safety Program. 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."  

"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," said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. "Surprising students with new bikes and gear helps them apply their newfound road and bike safety knowledge outside of the classroom." 

Wednesday's celebration began with a special assembly for the students and educators in the Little Caesars Arena bowl to revisit concepts learned during the Road & Bicycle Safety Program that took place at each school. As the assembly concluded, the surprise was unveiled to the students with a video featuring the building and tagging of the bikes and culminating with footage of the more than 500 bicycles arranged and waiting for the students in Chevrolet Plaza.

The students were then escorted to Chevrolet Plaza where volunteers from the Red Wings and Chevrolet directed them to their bikes, which were individually tagged and personalized for each student. They had the opportunity to try their new bikes on five riding courses surrounding the exterior of Little Caesars Arena before being treated to lunch, courtesy of Little Caesars and Coca-Cola.

Each bicycle features a custom Michigan license plate representing all seven schools that participated in the Road & 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 provided to students during Thursday's celebration, a combination of 11 bikes and accompanying helmets, locks and bells were gifted to each school in April to assist in the Road & Bicycle Safety Program curriculum. Each school will keep the bikes to continue education 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 & Bicycle Safety Program, in addition to STEM Day at Little Caesars Arena (which was held on Feb. 26) serve as part of a long-term community impact investment between Chevrolet and the Red Wings within Metro Detroit.

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