Knox County District Attorney General - Charme P. Allen

Mooreland Heights Elementary Rockets Want Bikes

Posted: 09/20/2018Feature Photo

District Attorney General Charme Allen received big cheers from students when she announced the Bike Reward Program at Mooreland Heights Elementary School. The students eagerly filed in on a late Friday afternoon, anticipating a big announcement. Every student who achieves perfect attendance will receive a brand new bike and helmet at the end of the school year through the incentive program.

General Allen stressed the important role attendance plays in students’ future success. As the top prosecutor for Knox County, the District Attorney General oversees truancy. Reducing truancy is a vitally important step in preventing Knox County youth from entering the juvenile justice system. Research shows that children who are truant have lower grades, need to repeat grades more often, have higher rates of expulsion and have lower rates of high school graduation. In fact, a high school graduate makes, on average, a million dollars more than a dropout over a lifetime. When asked if the student’s would like to earn a million dollars, every hand shot up!

Like most issues impacting our community’s public safety and health, chronic absenteeism and truancy require a full-community approach to address the problem. The incentive program is one of many ways we can address truancy and chronic absenteeism. The bike incentive helps kids get excited about going to school and provides families a fun goal to achieve together.

The results of the incentive program speak for themselves. In the past three years, General Allen has partnered with four schools and awarded 200 bikes to elementary school students.  In each partner school, principals have reported a significant increase in school attendance, as well as test scores and overall morale. A couple of schools found the partnership to be so successful that they recruited community support to continue the program.

General Allen is committed to reducing truancy rates through supporting prevention and early intervention and looks forward to celebrating Mooreland Heights Elementary School’s success this year.

If you would like to contribute to the Bike Reward Program, contact Emily Scheuneman at 865-215-3736 or emily.scheuneman@knoxcounty.org. The bikes are purchased through a special community fund and helmets are provided by the Epilepsy Foundation of East Tennessee.

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City County Building 400 Main Street
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