COLUMBIA, South Carolina (STPNS) -- By Anne-Kathryn Bultman

Anne@TheColumbiaStar.com

One lucky person now has transportation to and from work because of one idea and the hard work of a group of fifth graders.

When Dave Freireich became a mentor to one student at A.C. Moore Elementary School his commitment to helping others didn?t stop there.    

Dave and his wife Meg have been involved in other service projects for the school, but when Meg got involved with Roots and Shoots, an international program that implements positive change within communities, for animals, and for the environment, she brought those ideals to A.C. Moore.



Each grade at A.C. Moore has a service project they must work on throughout the year. The fifth graders were the recyclers so the Freireichs decided to work with them to restore a bike and donate it to Cooperative Ministry.

?I decided to restore the bike because I?ve seen how many dilapidated bikes there are,? Freireich said. ?I wanted to show the kids the bikes can be fixed, and they can do it themselves.?

The fifth graders began working on the bike in January, getting together once a week after school. The class started with a frame, stripped it down, repainted it, and rebuilt it.

The finished project was donated to Cooperative Ministry at the fifth grade graduation ceremony Friday, May 18, 2007. Lashawn Baxter and Rosa Gordon, whose three kids attended A.C. Moore from ?87??89, proudly accepted the bike and will find a well?deserving owner for it.

Although the Freierichs plan to move this summer, they will be able to help other communities give back. The completion of the bike project is an accomplishment the fifth graders and the Freireichs will always remember.

?We?re empowering kids to do something, and they are learning a skill that will impact the community,? Freierich said.

For more information about Roots and Shoots, www.rootsandshoots.org, and for more information about Cooperative Ministry, visit www.cooperativeministry.com.