Students at Dr. King, Elmcrest, Seymour and Westside Academy cheered on 120 bike riders in The Ride for Missing and Exploited Children as they stayed on course to bike 100 miles in one day. At LeMoyne and Hughes/Syracuse Latin, the riders stopped to grab a quick bite to eat and speak with the students.
“We’re in this for the kids,” biker Molly Ballard explained. “So to have them so excited is such a boost. And they actually learn the message now because they are part of it! It’s a great thing to be able to stop here and see their energy!”
Syracuse Latin second grader Kamiera Carson was as impressed by the bikers as the bikers were of she and her classmates. “My favorite part of today was when the bikers got here. They are working hard!”
The ride, organized by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, began in 1995 with the goal of honoring the memory of all missing children and raising public awareness of the need for child safety education. The Syracuse ride is one of five throughout New York, with rides also taking place in Utica, Rochester, Buffalo and Albany.
Prior to the bikers’ visit, SCSD students participated in an assembly where they learned about Internet safety and general safety tips such as not walking alone, waiting in a group at the bus stop and telling a trusted adult if they feel unsafe.
Hughes third grader Janiyah Romain explained, “I learned that you shouldn’t give your address or phone number to anyone and not to go online without asking your parents first.”
The school visits even included a visit from the Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s mascot, Clicky, who led songs and dances about being safe. Thank you to the participants in this year’s race for their tireless work advocating for the children in our community, and thank you to our SCSD students for their enthusiastic support of the bikers!
To view photos from the bike riders' school visits, please visit our album on Flickr >>>