MARIETTA - Youngsters from the pre-kindergarten and Montessori preschool programs at St. Mary Elementary School in Marietta learned a lesson in cycling safety and raised money for a good cause during a Trike-A-Thon Tuesday.
About 10 preschoolers, ages 3, 4 and 5, participated in the Trike-A-Thon for two hours Tuesday morning. About 14 pre-kindergarten students, ages 4 and 5, participated in the afternoon.
The children strapped on helmets and rode their tricycles in circles inside the old gym at the school, on Marion Street in Marietta.
Photo by Ashley Rittenhouse
Preschoolers from the Montessori preschool at St. Mary Elementary School ride their tricycles around the school’s old gym Tuesday morning during a Trike-A-Thon.
"This is a fundraising thing not for our school, but for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," said preschool teacher Sylvia Rajakaruna. "People sponsor these children and give donations."
Rajakaruna said the Trike-A-Thon has been held about 10 years, but this is the first year the pre-kindergarten students have participated. The pre-kindergarten program was started last year.
She said the children will turn in their money later this month, so it wasn't clear yet how much they had raised.
"Other years, the preschoolers have averaged $1,500," Rajakaruna said.
She said all of the children have been learning cycling safety lessons over the past week in preparation for the Trike-A-Thon.
"Before we tell them the safety rules of riding, we explain why we are riding," Rajakaruna noted.
Four-year-old Jacob Chovan was able to rattle off one of the rules when asked.
"Always wear your helmet," he said, while wearing a helmet featuring pictures of Diego from the Nick Jr. cartoon "Go, Diego, Go!"
The other lessons were never ride in the street, always be careful near driveways and always watch where you're going.
Some of the children's parents helped with the Trike-A-Thon, pushing cardboard boxes out in front of them. The boxes were meant to represent cars to teach the riders a lesson in paying attention and stopping.
"I think they're doing a good job," said Marietta resident Jan Cunningham, mother of Jacob Chovan. "He talked earlier in the week about bike safety, so I think they were excited about today."
"My mom died of cancer in September, so it's a good thing," Cunningham added.
Rajakaruna said the money will be used for things like equipment and research work.