Many of you called the Yakima Herald-Republic newsroom confused about a recent free bicycle program from Bud Clary Toyota of Yakima.
It sounded simple: If you are an elementary student who had perfect attendance during the entire year, you were able to get a brand-new bike and helmet from the car dealer.
But some students learned that the program was limited to students in the Yakima School District plus the nearby St. Joseph Marquette Catholic School.
Robbie Bustos, community outreach coordinator for Bud Clary Toyota, said students from the participating schools received a letter at the beginning of the school year confirming their participation in the program and she stayed in touch with the school district all year long to keep the students motivated to reach the perfect attendance goal.
She notes that advertising for the program via Facebook and the radio notes that it was limited to the 15 participating schools, but many of you pointed out that there were signs and advertisements where that caveat was not mentioned. Some linked to this article on KIT-AM’s webpage that stated that “Toyota of Yakima will donate a brand new bike and helmet to every elementary school (K-5) student in Union Gap Yakima, East Valley or West Valley that maintains perfect attendance.”
In addition, teachers and guidance counselors from other school districts promoted the program and claimed it was for all students in the Yakima Valley.
As a result, the dealership ended up having to explain itself to a number of disappointed parents and students.
The intent was not to leave any students out, but since this was the first year for the program, it was necessary to focus on a specific area, Bustos said.
“This was the best way to involve the most schools and get a feel for it,” she said.
For the record, 256 students from the 15 participating schools received perfect attendance and will get their free bikes and helmets during one of two barbecues next week.
The hope is that with the success of this year’s program, they could extend the program to other school districts, Bustos said.
“Our intent is to make a positive impact in the lives of as many students as we can,” she said.