19 elementary students awarded brand new bikes for perfect atten - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

19 elementary students awarded brand new bikes for perfect attendance

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YAKIMA, WA - An elementary school in Yakima decided to surprise several students with the ultimate summer gift: brand new bikes.

19 students at McKinley Elementary received a brand new bike for having perfect attendance all school year.

"Perfect attendance is really difficult to get, actually," says McKinley principal, Amanada Voorhees. "That means that they have not been late a day for 180 days, they have not left early and they've been here every single day."

Two of those 19 students are Noelia and Joan Valdovinos. They say that as family, they hold each other accountable.

"My brother always wakes me up early in the morning so I can come to school," third grader Noelia said. "He also helps me wake up so I won't be late for school."

Joan says he does this even on days where he feels a bit under the weather.

"Sometimes I feel sick and I tell myself I need to go to school," said Joan, a fifth grader.

Usually the bikes are donated through the Pace program, but this year McKinley Elementary was not chosen.

"I just didn't have the heart to tell the kids that we weren't going to have free bikes again, so I said, 'we are still having free bikes,' and we kept our fingers crossed that we would get community donors to step up and we did," said Voorhees.

Principal Voorhees thanks the Costal Conservation Association, Owens of Yakima, Roberts Electrical and Berkshire Hathaway for making this possible. She also added that holding students accountable for their attendance teaches them the importance of getting and keeping an occupation.