Stone Oak Rotary Club Rewards 60 Students with Bicycles

FLAG bicycle giveaway

The Stone Oak Rotary Club will present bicycles to 60 elementary school students at three local schools, beginning May 18.   The Rotary Club has a long commitment to community service, including the Stone Oak chapter’s creation of the FLAG (Fitness, Literacy, Attendance and Grades) program to reach out to at-risk children. The bicycles, each complete with a lock, will be awarded as incentives to deserving students. 


Margaret Porter, Stone Oak Rotary Club member, began the FLAG program in 2013, giving away bikes at just one school – Walzem Elementary.  It has since grown to include East Terrell Hills and Oak Grove Elementary Schools.  


The Rotary Club visited these schools in February to kick off a poster contest to support the FLAG goals to improve wellness, enhance learning, boost attendance and elevate grades.  They also incorprated an essay contest to support the 4th grade writing component of required statewide testing.  Poster contest winners received soccer balls, and one boy and girl at each school won a bike as their essay contest prize.  As the school year draws to a close, the Rotary Club will deliver the remaining 54 bikes to the schools.  


“Our goal is to improve the wellness of the students as well as boost school attendance, which will enable the faculty and staff to provide educational support and guidance to a larger population,” said Porter.  Several local businesses including Walmart, Sam’s Club #4914, Gotta Ride Bikes, Target, Budget Movers, Alamo Head Injury Association, Betsy Dippo-State Farm, BJ Tidwell Cabinetry, and Whataburger partnered with the Rotary Club to make the program a succeess.  


The Stone Oak Rotary Club’s FLAG program received the Rotary District 5840 “Service Above Self” Award; the North East Independent School District “Superintendent’s Award”; and a State of Texas Certificate of Recognition from Jose Menendez, State Senator, District 26, according to Porter.  Additionally, the FLAG program was highlighted by Rotary International President Gary C.K. Huangas during his visit to San Antonio in 2015.


The Stone Oak Rotary Club believes in "Service Above Self,” Porter added. “This project has proven to have made a big difference in the lives of the children and faculty of each at-risk school.  Not only has attendance improved, enthusiasm for learning has grown.  The Stone Oak Rotary Club looks forward to continuing the FLAG program and finding ways to reach more children in the future.”