TEWKSBURY — Lydia loves riding her bike. Last fall, during her first grade year at the Heath Brook Elementary School, Lydia Seichter asked her mom if she could ride her bike alongside her mother when they walked to school.
Mom, Anne Seichter, was happy to oblige, but with no bike rack at the school, it wasn’t practical to carry the bike back and forth. So, Lydia got the idea to ask the principal if a bike rack could be installed so she could lock her bike safely at the school.
The principal, Felicia Cenanovic, asked Lydia for a proposal.
“Because of our students' young age, most of them come in cars or catch a ride on the bus... but I was intrigued by her request! I asked her [Lydia], with a smile of course, if she could write up a proposal to the principal citing the need for a bike rack at our school and deliver it to me for review. Not only did she do that, but she added her own petition signed by her friends. I was sold!” said Cenanovic.
Among the rationale the first grader used for her proposal was the benefit of exercise for students, fewer cars in the drop off line at school, happier parents at drop off and fewer cars on the road in general. Lydia also made the argument that riding bikes to school is good for the earth.
“Riding bikes is good exercise and is fun,” she said.
Cenanovic worked with Dave Libby, the TPS business manager, to procure the funding. Cenanovic and Lydia were able to walk the property a few times to pick out just the right location. Then the pandemic hit and everything was put on hold.
After all the hard work and planning, the bike rack was finally installed this summer.
Said Cenanovic, “It really goes to show that you can’t underestimate our young learners — they have just as much willpower, determination and vision as our bigger kids!”
Lydia is excited for she and her friends to ride their bikes to school once it begins on Sept. 16.
Way to go, Lydia!