Orangeburg DPS encourages academic achievement by giving students bicycles
The program relies on community donations in order to give students a new way to ride to school
ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WOLO) — Officers with the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety are spinning their wheels to reward students for their hard work in the classroom.
Through their “Working for Wheels” program, the Department gives bicycles to children who might not have the easiest time getting to school.
“We feel that this is a way for us to share our passion with the youth of the community, give them an outlet to get outside, be social, be active, and give them a reward for the hard work they’ve been putting in in school throughout the year,” said Corporal Jakeem Williford, the Accreditation Manager for Orangeburg’s Department of Public Safety.
The Department receives names of students who might need a bicycle from teachers and guidance counselors throughout the school district.
Based on the number of community donations, some of which they refurbish on their own, they give out bikes multiple times each year, including during the holidays.
“Their teachers recognize that they’re working hard, they’re working as hard as they can, and even though we’re not giving them that recognition at the school, this is another way to reinforce to keep doing what you’re doing, keep trying as hard as you can, keep persevering,” Cpl. Williford said.
After working on these bicycles throughout the year, several officers say it’s a highlight of their year to see kids smile when they get their rides for the first time.
“And I just get excited from the start seeing what a bike can be, and what it’s finally going to do once the child gets the bike. Kids love to ride, so we just love providing that for them,” said Sgt. Arney Lucas of Orangeburg DPS.
Seeing his officers encourage students to succeed in the classroom is something that makes Chief Mike Adams proud.
“When you get in there at an early age, you could really make an impact on the moral character of that child. Get them to emulate the things that really makes us great as a community,” Chief Adams said.
If you are interested in contributing bicycles that can be included as part of the program, you could bring them to the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety at 1320 Middleton Street from Monday through Friday.