Students race for health at Seeliger Elementary |

Students race for health at Seeliger Elementary

Michelle Vuchetich
For the Appeal
Photos by BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Seeliger Elementary School principal Lee Conley and physical-education teacher Michele Van Voorst ride on a track at the school on Thursday. Van Voorst received a $2,100 grant from the Department of Traffic Safety to buy the bikes, paint the track and build a shed to house the bikes.

Students at Seeliger Elementary were poised over their bikes Thursday as they watched physical-education teacher Michele Van Voorst and Principal Lee Conley speed off on a tandem bicycle.

Then it was their turn.

The kindergartners walked the school’s 18 new bicycles to the starting line of the new bike course before racing off.

“Get the first aid kit,” said Conley, laughing.

Conley and the rest of the school were celebrating the new bicycles, track and shed that came after Van Voorst was awarded a $2,100 grant from the Department of Traffic and Safety.

“I wanted the younger students to have a chance to ride bikes as well,” said Van Voorst, who is leaving Seeliger to become the new principal at Hugh Gallagher Elementary school in Virginia City.

“This is my legacy. This is my gift to them before I go.”

Lauri Ann Grimes, who reviewed the grant application for the Department of Traffic and Safety, said she thought it was an excellent idea.

“This has such wonderful benefits. It’s fun, it has emotional benefits, and most importantly, it’s about health. This is a fun way to keep the kids healthy.”

Many supporters attended the gala, including parents, business owners, volunteers, students and the school’s music class, which played throughout the race. Fifth grade leadership students from Seeliger helped the kindergartners as they tried out the bikes.

The painted race track was donated by Jim Johnson and Jim Sellers of Sunridge Painting.

“(School district operations director) Mike Mitchell called me and told me about the grant and offered to pay us to make a track. We told him to keep the money to buy more bicycles with. We like to do a lot of community work.” Johnson said.

“We love to give back to the schools especially,” said Sellers.

Community Foundation of Western Nevada donated $1,000 to Seeliger for the bicycle storage shed.

Tricycles and two-wheelers were among the 18 bicycles purchased at Bike Smith in Carson City. A tricycle built for children with special needs and bicycles with removable training wheels were also included.

Van Voorst presented Sunridge Painting, the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, and Lauri Ann Grimes with a plaque from Seeliger to show appreciation for the support.


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