New bike racks at Iroquois thanks to its students!

9/29: Letter from Iroquois students to Superintendent leads to bike rack change
Posted on 09/29/2021
Picture of students

Iroquois Middle School students have seven fifth-graders to thank for additional bicycle racks and a better setup for this school year. As the 2020-21 school year came to a close last June, the girls collaborated and mailed a hand-written letter to Dr. Aaron Johnson asking the West Irondequoit CSD superintendent to consider adding bicycle racks.

“Dr. Johnson, you may not know but many kids at Iroquois Middle School ride their bikes to and from school,” the letter starts. “At the end of the day when everyone gets out of school, it is chaos in the bike cage. … We think the bike cage should be expanded. What can we do to make this happen?

“If you don’t think the school has the budget to expand the bike cage, we can even raise the money because we do need it very badly.”

The girls – Scarlett Cantabene, Olivia Cooley, Margaret Culliton, Ava Rizzo, Johanna Slesak, Shaylyn Tytler and Gabrielle Vachehoped to alleviate the congestion in the fenced-in area that houses the bicycle racks. On any given day, 40 or more students may ride their bicycle to Iroquois, led by fourth-year Principal Christian Zwahlen and one of the district’s 10 neighborhood schools. Johnson took the letter to heart. The fenced-in area was reconfigured to ensure better flow and two additional racks were added. They are located a short distance away. The changes happened before the start of the school year – and because of these seven students.

A cornerstone of our mission is to promote student agency and voice,” said Johnson, who received a thank-you note from the girls this week. “Children are our future, and to ensure a bright one, we must instill a sense of civic responsibility along with the tools to prompt positive change. This group of students is a prime example of just that. Whether big or small, when students speak out to advocate for themselves and others, that's a sign that we're on the right track.”

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