DETROIT — Damari Harden, a second-grade college student at Cooke STEM Academy, couldn’t even wait for his fellow pupils ahead of he was off and driving.Considering the fact that April, Harden and virtually 500 2nd graders from ten colleges in the Detroit Community Schools Local community District happen to be studying to ride bicycles and vital highway security info for the duration of their bodily education and learning courses as portion of the Road & Bicycle Protection Program in partnership with Chevrolet. On Tuesday, the children arrived at Little Caesars Arena believing they were about to celebrate their completion in the educational course but instead found out that each one would be receiving a new bicycle, helmet and lock.Each one was personalized with the student’s name.»It’s good,» Harden said ahead of taking off on his new bike, which he said was his third. «(I’ve been driving) because I was four.»The le sons definitely sank in for Aron, 9, from Harms Elementary.When asked what was the first thing he planned to do as soon as he got his new bike home, he said, «Put my helmet on.»Each bicycle, purchased from Meijer and built through Meijer’s partnership with National A semblers, has a custom Michigan license plate representing each of the 10 schools that took component in the program — Bunche Preparatory Academy, Cooke STEM Academy, Do sin Elementary, Gardner Elementary, Garvey Academy, Golightly Instruction Center, Harms Elementary, Marquette Elementary, Sampson-Webber Leadership Academy and Wayne Elementary.»Most do not have a bike and have never had bikes,» said Pamela Moore, President and CEO of the Detroit Community Universities Foundation.»We kept it so quiet. One student came up to me and asked, ‘Are we getting bikes today?’ I wasn’t ready for that so I said, ‘We ‘re here to talk about the program we completed.’ The Red Wings have done so much for the district this year. The partnership has been great.»Chris Granger, Ilitch Holdings group president for sports and entertainment, said this event has been in the works for several months and it was incredibly exciting to see the end result.»Everybody remembers the first time they got on a bike, the first time they got their own bike, so to see everyone’s eyes just light up when they walked out here, it’s just heartwarming for all of the volunteers who spent so much time on this project,» Granger said.»Whether it’s the Red Wings, the Tigers or any with the Ilitch companies we really understand our responsibility to give back and to make a difference. We talk often times about wanting to do things that unite and inspire Detroit and this falls right in this category.»Za’kia Pouncey, a second grader from Sampson-Webber Leadership Academy said, «I like it! (I’m) happy.»Also happy to be taking portion in the event were Detroit Red Wings Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader and Danny DeKeyser.»I remember how excited I was getting a bike, using around as a kid,» Helm said. «I think I was on my bike all the time. To have that opportunity to get one and trip around, see how excited they are to be able to do that, it was pretty awesome.»DeKeyser loved seeing the reactions of your kids when they found out the surprise.»That was sweet, they were really excited,» DeKeyser said. «When Ryan announced all the kids here were getting a bike, they were all excited. It was good to see. I know these bikes are going to get a lot of use and they’re going to enjoy them.»Seeing profe sional hockey players had a ma sive impact on the kids, especially having Helm, Abdelkader and DeKeyser bike around Little Caesars Arena with them.»I think having the Red Wings here is tremendous,» said Chrystal Wilson, spokesperson for the Detroit General public Educational institutions Neighborhood District. «I was looking in the audience and when they were announcing the players, there was one little guy whose mouth was just gaping open and every player that came out, his mouth was gaping open. So this also lets kids know that things can come to fruition. They go in the cla sroom and they study and they learn. Dreams can come true, they get their bikes, they can meet their favorite players.»The kids and Wings rode their bikes through five courses set up around Little Caesars Arena.Riding bikes is also a great way to get exercise and stay fit so learning it at this young age is a huge thing for children and their families.»They’re active and they’ll be able to journey their bikes, hopefully many miles, and it’ll bring an awarene s to their bodies as they learn balance and they’re having fun while doing it,» Wilson said. «I think that’s really e sential to learn that at an early age and hopefully they’ll be able to teach other kids in the group and maybe their younger siblings.»Abdelkader said it’s something he does as a part of his offseason training.»I have a street bike and I bike in the summertime a lot,» Abdelkader said. «It’s a great portion of exercise for the kids. It’s fun to be able to be outside and hopefully there’s areas they can journey their bikes, whether it’s by their houses or around the colleges.»Helm is working with the oldest of his three daughters, Reece, on understanding to ride.»I don’t know how excited or how much she wants to ride but I keep telling her how critical it is, how much fun she’ll have and how significant it is for a child to learn and be able to trip a bike around,» Helm said. «I think as soon as she sees some of her friends riding, she’ll maybe want to join in. I think for these kids to have that opportunity now, it’s really special for them.»Moore hopes to be able to install some bicycle racks at the faculties and po sibly incorporate some maintenance studying into the curriculum in the future so kids can learn how to make simple repairs.All in all, the weather stayed dry, the kids enjoyed their new bikes, a pizza lunch and meeting Helm, Abdelkader and DeKeyser, turning it into a perfect day.»This is a great end-of-the-year surprise,» Moore said. «It’s such a ble sing for these kids.»