By Maj. Eric Shepherd, 412th Contracting Support BrigadeMay 13, 2014
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (May 14, 2014) -- Eight members from the 412th Contracting Support Brigade here spent May 2 assisting Lamar Elementary School students during the school's Bicycle Rodeo.
As part of the 412th CSB's community outreach program, volunteers helped students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade perform their riding skills by maneuvering their bikes through a challenging course while their peers and parents cheered them on.
The course tested the students, riding skills in the areas of balancing, steering, performing a figure eight, and maneuvering.
Lt. Col. Sylvia Farmer, 412th CSB executive officer, leads the outreach program for the brigade. She said the outreach program is a way for government employees to give back to their communities and expose the public to possible careers within the government. She has several ideas on how to help coach, mentor and educate children through gardening, lunch with a Soldier, arts and crafts, field days, and summer camp.
From tiny bikes with training wheels to 10-speeds and mountain bikes, the children descended upon the course and were able to show off their bikes to their friends.
After the event, a winner from each age group was identified, and they will be able to participate in an annual city-wide competition.
"Bicycle education is important at this young age. We educated the kids on how to perform preventative maintenance and safety checks on their bikes. We then inspected the bikes before the rodeo," said Cassandra Mora, 412th CSB Acquisition Management Office. "Bicycles are usually a kid's first form of transportation, and it is great the San Antonio Police Department is taking a proactive role in keeping kids safe on the streets."
Maj. Manuel Prado, 412th CSB Acquisition Management Office, brought his bicycle tools and air pump to the rodeo to help the children correct any safety deficiencies identified. He also inspected the children's helmets to ensure they were worn properly.
"Bike maintenance is critical to both safety and performance," Prado said. "I wanted to make sure students had a positive experience, and inspecting their bikes for deficiencies was essential for both safety and performance."
Staff Sgt. Ryan Johnson, a 412th CSB contracting specialist, volunteered to judge the balance obstacle on the course.
"I had a great time at the bike rodeo," Johnson said. "Giving back to the community is an important part of service to our nation as a Soldier."