Christmas was a lot brighter for a family of seven this year. Thanks to the efforts of students at the Cortland Alternative School (CAS), a family that we serve through our Prevention program received beautifully refurbished bicycles for all of their children- making Christmas morning even more special. “This is a wonderful example of the ability of our youth to enrich the lives of their peers by giving their time and energy for others,” shared Leslie Wilkins, Director at Cortland Prevention Resources.
“When deciding on a project for their Makerspace Lab, the students wanted to find a way to give back to their communities,” said Jayne Coffey, CAS Principal.
The young volunteers worked on the bikes in the Makerspace Lab at CAS which provides opportunities for students to design, experiment, build and invent as they engage in science, engineering and tinkering. “When deciding on a project for their Makerspace Lab, the students wanted to find a way to give back to their communities,” said Jayne Coffey, CAS Principal. “They are all bike enthusiasts themselves and it became a project they could engage with that incorporated their interests and their expertise.” The students volunteered their time during lunch and after school to refurbish the bikes.
Knowing about our Strengthening Families program, Principal Coffey reached out to Wilkins who helped identify a family who would be delighted to receive the bicycles. “It was meaningful for them because they knew the bikes would go to kids and families who would be grateful for receiving them,” shared Coffey. “We are so pleased that we have such great collaborations in the community. Without them, these kinds of amazing things would not happen,” said Wilkins.
The parents picked up the bicycles just before Christmas. They were impressed with the efforts of the students and the quality of their work but also thrilled to have the bikes for their family and touched by the generosity of others.
The students who participated in the Makerspace project included: Ed Barhite, Jacob Fidler, Hunter Joseph, Josh Petrie, Dylan Stevens, Bennie Stafford and Mike Torto. CAS teachers Patrick McGowan and Doug Rice facilitated the project with this group of students. All of the used bicycles for the Makerspace Lab project were generously donated by community members who no longer needed them.