Posted on 11 March 2016 by La Habra Journal
By Leon Romero
La Habra Journal
Parts of the crowd held their breath in amazement while the majority cheered on professional BMX rider, Joey Cordova, as he briskly pedaled his bike towards the box jump in the center of the lower blacktop area. Atop the box jump sat La Habra Police Department Motor Officer Tam Do on a metal folding chair hoping this dangerous stunt goes according to plan. The entire crowd burst into a deafening applause as they witnessed Cordova perform a backflip over one of La Habra’s finest and land it perfectly. Imperial Middle School held one of the triennial Achieve The Challenge assemblies last week where only certain students were allowed to attend and enjoy the enthralling BMX show put on by Team Soil from BMX Bike Show. The students allowed to attend this special event either had a 3.5+ GPA or attained six outstanding markings on their citizenship report card. Throughout the assembly the performers, school staff, and LHPD officers handed out new bicycle helmets to the students who showed the most excitement by yelling the loudest. The same BMX assembly was performed for qualifying Washington Middle School students two days prior. According to LHPD Motor Sergeant Jim Tigner, the funding for this assembly came from a California Office of Traffic Safety grant, which permits the funding for bicycle safety education assemblies. With assistance from Officer Jason Sanchez, Sergeant Tigner coordinated the entire assembly for the eager middle school students. He believes that if the students see professional BMX riders wearing bicycle helmets properly it will positively influence them to follow their lead. “Bicycle safety is the primary mission for why we’re here today. We want to emphasize to kids the importance of wearing a quality helmet properly in a fun way,” said Tigner Team Soil consists of several professional BMX riders, but the four riders who performed that morning were Chris Hughes, Nathan Skyes, and brothers, Matt Cordova and Joey Cordova. Professional X-Games rider and owner of BMX Bike Show, Ryan Brennan, was the emcee on the microphone for the assembly. Brennan has traveled throughout Southern California for the past 12 years putting on BMX shows to get students excited to participate in Red Ribbon Week, anti-bullying campaigns, and California State Testing.
“The fact that La Habra is doing this is a cool thing, because it shows kids that young bike riders are making the right choices and that’s what you have to do in order to be successful,” said Brennan.
Imperial Middle School administration follows the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support philosophy established by the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. According to the PBIS website, PBIS is a framework for helping schools form personnel implement behavioral interventions into their curriculum, which will result in enhanced academic and social behavior from their students. Through this arose the ATC assemblies in order to award the students who demonstrate exceptional behavior and academic success. Principal of Imperial Middle School, Cathy Seighman, recalls having awarded her students in the past with ATC assemblies featuring laser light shows, African dancers, and ice cream movie nights. Seighman makes sure to always have multiple constructive messages conveyed at the assemblies in order to show students that learning can also be accomplished in a fun manner. “We want to show the students that if you demonstrate positive behavior and are positive academically you will get a pat on the back,” said Seighman.
There are no current plans for next trimester’s ATC assembly, but the hype from the BMX show definitely motivated those who weren’t invited to try harder in order to attain invitations to the upcoming thrilling assemblies.