702 students get bikes for perfect attendance - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

702 students get bikes for perfect attendance

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UNION GAP, WA - Many kids in Yakima County will be getting a new set of wheels for their dedication to learning. Through the perfect attendance creates excellence program, P.A.C.E. 702 elementary school students will be awarded a bike for their perfect attendance. The program is put on by car dealership Bud Clary Toyota of Yakima in Union Gap.  

"each kid has earned their bike because all year long they have gone to school 100% of the time, they have not been tardy, they do not leave early, they have not even had an excused absence," said Robbie Bustos, Bud Clary Community Outreach.  

Most if not all the bikes are purchased by the dealership and were assembled at Toys R Us, which donated 100 bikes this year. The program started four years ago and every year since the dealership has needed to purchase more bikes. General Manager Jeff Mattson said that their program has been very effective in increasing attendance since it started four years ago.       

"We are aware of one school that had a drop of over 80% in their total number of unexcused absences and i think that is fantastic, so it is definitely working," said Mattson. 

19 elementary schools are participating 10 of them from Yakima along with schools from Wapato, Toppenish, Grandview, Granger, Moxee and Ellensburg. Schools are selected through an application process and each year the dealership selects between 19 and 20. Bustos encourages any and all schools in Yakima county to apply.  
"We try to see what schools have a need for it an also the ones that will implement the program the best and get the best results because we do want to help them improve their attendance." 

In addition students who complete this feat are also rewarded with a party and an award ceremony at the dealership. Students will finally be able to get their hands and feet on their bikes Saturday, June 25th.