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Students receive bike for good grades

About 8,000 bikes given out at 25 Houston-area schools

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HOUSTON – A charity organization in Houston offers a good deal for children: receive good grades and get a bike.

"Elves & More" put together about 8,000 bikes that will go to 25 schools in the Houston Independent Schools District and other school districts. Each bike was earned by a student promising to improve.

"We're going to Baston Elementary. We've got 264 kids that have all successfully done their contracts. All getting bikes this Christmas," said Chris Rose, a volunteer.

Each student signed a contract with a teacher that stated they would improve their grades. About 80 percent of students promised to improve their reading skills.

"If you earn something, you feel glad. You pat yourself on the back," said Rebecca Roberts with Elves & More. "You know that you've done something good. If you know that you can give a child that kind of hope, how exponentially that can make a difference."

Over the years, the elves have given away 116,000 bikes in the Houston area. The idea is that a child can ride the bike to school, work and, ultimately, out of a challenging environment.

Most of this year's bikes were delivered Friday.

"This is Christmas to me. If I was not doing this, I don't think I'd know this was Christmastime. It's really important to me to give back to the community and this is my chance to do that," said one volunteer.