Here at Paradiso Insurance, giving back to our community is something that we hold near and dear to our hearts. Every year, we go to our local schools and encourage young students to read by rewarding them with the opportunity to win a bike. The way the program works is that each student receives a sheet of paper for each month, and they mark each day with the amount of hours they have read. In order to be entered into the raffle, each student must read at least 70 hours. At the end of the year, a winner is selected at random and the school provides us with the height and gender of each winner. Then, Chris and Stephanie purchase fun, modern bikes, tailored in size. The last, and most exciting step of this program, is the day we get to go to the schools and present the winners with their new bikes.
A Day in the Life
Walking into the schools with these bikes is an amazing experience. Looking at each and every student’s face brighten up as they look at the bikes and hope that it was their name that was selected as the winner is an honor. As the students enjoy their lunches, we all sit and converse with them, encouraging them to continue with their reading. We like to connect with the students in hopes that our pep talks will inspire them to continue reading, even though our program has ended for that year.
At Paradiso Insurance, we start our program off with the second graders and work our way up to the fifth graders. Watching the difference between the student class years is a fascinating thing. All kids are very respectful and have such a great time with what we do. In the past, we really tried to amp the students up by splitting the room in half and holding a competition to see which side could yell “I love reading” the loudest. It was wonderful to see the kids show their enthusiasm. During the giveaways, Chris has also liked to show off dance moves, and has even found himself in a few “dance-offs” with students.
We also like to hand out Kindness bracelets that have the words “kindness revolution” on one side, and “it’s cool 2B kind” on the other. We explain to the students about how important it is to be kind to one another, and ask them to share a story where someone has been kind to them or they have been kind to another student. We always see a bunch of hands go straight up in the air, jumping up and down to be picked to tell their story. This is very impressive, seeing how many students have kindness stories to tell. When a student is selected to tell their story, he/she stands up and we ask that they talk loud enough so that the rest of the students can hear them. When they are done, one of the marketing team members, or other staff at Paradiso Insurance, provides the student with two of the bracelets. One is for the student who just spoke, and the other is for the other student to whom he/she was kind or was kind to them. We also encourage the students who receive bracelets to pass theirs on whenever they see someone being kind. Hearing some of the stories that these students share is incredibly inspiring to not only the other students, but to the parents and teachers also in attendance. It’s our hope that by having them share these stories, we can help end bullying within our local school systems.
Every year, each grade blows us away with how many hours they are able to read within the school year. We’d like to say thank you to all of the hardworking students who do an amazing job with accomplishing the amount of hours they do. In addition, we’d like to thank the staff of these local schools who are so supportive in this giveaway. Now that a new school year is upon us, we at Paradiso Insurance are very excited to go back and begin our Bikes for Reading program with this year’s classes!