May 5, 2011
Volleyball serves bicycle safety tips to students
Before dealing with the rigors of finals week, members of Northwest Missouri State's volleyball team took time away from their studies to teach students at St. Gregory Barbarigo School tips on bicycle safety. The catalyst to the instruction was junior setter Paige McKenzie, who pushed forward with the project after attending a health fair and discovering a need for a bicycle safety program for students.
"My reasoning and motivation in creating a bicycle safety program was that there was a lot of interest, but nothing yet in place," said McKenzie. "The idea became more intriguing when the bike trails were completed in front of the school and throughout the community. The safety course allowed us a chance to talk about the new trails."
The project began as a class assignment for McKenzie and a fellow classmate. The two soon realized, however, that the large class sizes at St. Gregory's presented a problem and more volunteers would be needed. McKenzie went to head volleyball coach, Jessica Rinehart, for help. The two decided to turn the class project into a service opportunity for the volleyball team.
The volleyball team jumped at the chance to get involved with the community. Based on their class schedules, the women volunteered for different shifts during the day and went and taught proper hand signals and rules of the road. A miniature roadway was set up, allowing the students to practice the skills they had learned.
"This was a great opportunity for our players to volunteer with the community and also act as role models for the younger students," said Rinehart.
At the end of the program, the students were given the opportunity to compete in a relay race against the teachers, Bearcat players and other volunteers in which they implemented their newly-learned skills.
"The program was a big success," said McKenzie. "My teammates were extremely helpful throughout the day and the kids were able to have fun while also learning important safety tips. The relay race was comical to watch and the girls made sure to keep it competitive. We hope to continue to be involved with similar events in the future."
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