FORT SHAW — Fort Shaw Elementary School and Simms High School are separated by just a few miles, but they came together in the elementary school gym just before the holidays for something they’ve both have been waiting on for over a month.
Fort Shaw Elementary School has been busy with reading this year. Throughout October, students got the chance to enter a drawing if they read a book that’s a good fit for them.
Simms High School students jumped in as well to create the prize for the drawing — restored bicycles. They’ve been learning about how bikes work and how to repair them so they can give their creations to elementary students.
Simms High School senior Harley Wade wanted to take the class with a friend but ended up learning a lot more about this project than she expected.
“When you look at a bike it doesn’t look like there’s anything wrong but once you like start taking the tires apart and taking the gears apart you realize that like the brackets and everything that can bend or break and be rusty and you have to replace them. So that was cool,” Wade said.
The high school wanted the agricultural mechanics class to get a good learning experience and the high schoolers found their good fit as well, restoring bikes that will certainly get plenty of mileage on them.
Jodi Koterba who teaches the class was excited when the elementary school chef told her she had extra bikes to be donated and put her students right to work.
“I really enjoy the class. It’s a chance for kids to learn some skills that they will be able to use in real life. But it was fun to watch the kids learn how it worked and then help each other once one had discovered how to do it. You know the other ones were all sharing that so that was pretty fun for me,” Koterba said.
Seven bikes were given away, one for each grade from pre-K to fifth grade, and the high schoolers were able to put a smile on kids’ faces just in time for the holidays.
“We all got them together and stuff and then most of the parts started coming apart so we had to put them back together. It was frustrating waiting for parts to come in but it was fun just getting to give them to the elementary students,” senior Kaleb Bean said.
The bikes only have so much time before snow covers the ground, but the kids are sure to use them plenty before that happens.