Quinte Christian High School (QCHS) was one of five high schools in the Belleville region that participated in the 2007 One-to-One Students Care Bike-a-thon last week.
“We’re just looking for ways to get involved in the community and to get into the media so that people realize we’re here and we’re concerned about the larger community, that we’re not just about ourselves,” says Principal Johan Cooke.
The United Way approached all the high schools in the area about taking part in the bike-a-thon, providing the bikes for those who decided to get involved.
The decision was made for QCHS to participate this year after researching the causes the United Way is currently supporting.
“We were happy with all of them,” says Cooke, noting that in the past there has been hesitancy about some causes that don’t necessarily line up with what QCHS stands for.
About 30 students from QCHS collected pledges and rode stationary bikes for forty minutes each on October 22. They were allowed to miss classes to complete their quota.
About $1,000 was raised.
“I think the students enjoyed (the bike-a-thon),” says Cooke, noting the bikes were set up in the school’s main foyer so much of the student population could see what was going on as they walked through to their classes. “I think kids always feel good when they’re doing something they feel is worthwhile for the community.”
The school was featured in Belleville’s The Intelligencer, along with the four other participating high schools.
The idea for the bike-a-thon came from the leadership class at St. Paul’s Secondary School in Trenton, which pedaled for the United Way last year.
Each year QCHS students participate in a few good neighbour-type activities, such as the bike-a-thon, says Cooke.
In November several students will be assisting with the Salvation Army’s Coats for Kids program. In the past QCHS students have helped with that organization’s Christmas dinner.
During the Random Acts of Kindness week the school often plans some kind of activity as well.
Cooke says while more could always be done the school also strives for a balance between community involvement and ensuring the students get their in-class education.