Santa Claus wore blue and his sleigh was a truck on Tuesday when the members of the Omicron Delta Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., stopped by C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School to drop off 35 bicycles for students nominated by their teachers.
It was a busy day for the brothers of the Sigmas of Southern Maryland. Earlier in the day, the group visited Benjamin Stoddert Middle School to drop off gifts to students. The fraternity has a history of community service and stands by its motto of “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity.”
“Every year we learn more and more stories about the students here,” said Kendrick Faison, the president of the Omicron Delta Sigma Service Foundation and past president of the chapter.
Frannia Bryant, Barnhart’s school counselor, said a child from each classroom from prekindergarten to fifth grade was nominated for a bike. “A bike gives you the opportunity to go out into your community,” Sequiell Bolden, the chapter president, said. “[Bike riding] promotes a healthy lifestyle.” Additionally, owning a bike teaches responsibility and independence.
David Ingles smiled when he remembered riding bikes as a kid. He hopes his son, Jamil, a Barnhart third grader, makes similar happy memories. “I think he’ll be very excited,” Ingles said.
This is the fourth year the fraternity has given bikes to children at Barnhart. The organization’s annual crab feast, along with donations and a partnership with Walmart, helps fund its community service projects. Members also support mentoring programs in Prince George’s County and Southern Maryland, volunteer at the Robert J. Fuller Transitional House for Men and Charlotte Hall Veterans Home as well as raise money for the March of Dimes.
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,108 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.