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Waco ISD encouraging students to ride towards perfect attendance

Posted at 4:28 PM, Feb 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-27 17:28:48-05

WACO, Texas — For the past two years, Waco native and Chicago Bear defensive lineman Andrew Billings has had an initiative with J.H. Hines Elementary where every six weeks, two bikes are given out for each grade level (kindergarten-fifth grade) for perfect attendance, or, missing two or less days of school. It's an incentive that Billings says starts to implement early so these kids have a bright future ahead.

“What kid doesn’t want a bicycle?,” said J.H. Hines Principal Cynthia Wise.

This scene looks a little out of place, as you usually don’t see bikes given out until the holidays, but this giveaway is little different.

211 out of 389 students, which is a little more than half , at J.H. Hines Elementary with perfect attendance, or, have missed less than two days thus far on the school year were recognized.

"At this level, they don’t drive themselves, so it’s really not their fault, and that’s it in a nutshell. Every six weeks, the Andrew Billings Foundation, Make A Way Foundation, donates 12 bicycles to this school, and we put their names in a drawing and we choose two per grade level, one boy and one girl, starting though kindergarten through fifth grade,” Wise said

Partnering with Waco native and current Chicago Bears Defensive Lineman Andrew Billings, giving these bikes away to encourage staying in school and making education a priority, as Billings did in his life.

“For me, having something like this as I was a kid would’ve been huge, so, to be able to come back and provide this for some kids, if it just impacts one, I feel great about it,” Billings said.

Being an example in this community, emphasizing you should always be learning, and striving for greater things.

And never forget where you came from.

“This community has given me so much. Thank God I was born in Waco,” Billings said.