FCA US Shifts Gears, Rolls Out New Bikes for 350 Detroit Students

‘Big Bike and Book Giveaway Day’ recognizes academic performance; encourages students to read and ride this summer
Jun 15, 2016 2:35 PM ET

Kevin E. Frazier

FCA US LLC, a company better known for helping to put the Motor City on wheels, shifted gears on June 11 and rolled out hundreds of shiny, new bicycles and stacks of books for students in Detroit.

During the second annual “Big Bike and Book Giveaway Day” held at Palmer Park on the city’s west side, FCA US presented new bikes and books to 350 elementary, middle and high school students who have demonstrated improved academic performance, school attendance and good citizenship.

“It’s a privilege for FCA employees to help make a summer of fun and learning possible for students in Detroit,” Lesley Slavitt, Head of Civic Engagement, FCA US and CEO of the FCA Foundation, said. “The ‘Big Bike and Book Giveaway Day’ is a great opportunity for our employees to work with community-based partners and make such a summer possible for youth in Detroit.”

Earlier in the week, more than 100 Motor Citizens (FCA US employees) volunteered their time, talents and tools to assemble the bikes for the “Big Bike and Book Giveaway Day” during a six-hour build held at Palmer Park. The Motor Citizens also were on hand during the “Big Bike and Book Giveaway Day” helping students pick up their new books, bikes, helmets and locks, as well as ensure that each student received bike safety instruction before hitting the road. Students and their guests were also treated to a picnic, including a DJ, face painter, and ice cones.

Students chosen to receive a new bike were selected by Communities in Schools of Metropolitan Detroit (CIS), which provides education and community resources to help students successfully learn, stay in school and continue on the path to graduation.

“The best way we can encourage students to value and take pride in their education is to show them how proud we are of their accomplishments,” Sonja Allen, CEO of CIS, said. “When students feel that their community appreciates their hard work, supports them and believes in them, they will believe in themselves and stay determined to achieve their dreams.”

The “Big Bike and Book Giveaway Day” has recognized the academic and civic achievements of more than 700 Detroit students since it was established in 2015 by FCA US.