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Mardi, 21 mai 2024

A team-building program helps Verdun students get pedalling

Kids from Verdun Elementary School will ride new bikes into this summer

A Story Written by Daniel Bartlett

When Lori McKergow, principal at Verdun Elementary School, received an inquiry from Dan Perdue in December, she wasn’t exactly sure why the Toronto-based motivational speaker was reaching out.

Perdue is the president of LEVEL 12, a company that specializes in leadership development, sales training, coaching and team building. His past clients include the likes of Facebook, Google, PepsiCo, The Home Depot and Nestle.

McKergow didn’t understand how her elementary school made his call list.

“I receive a lot of requests from organizations that want to help us spend our budget,” McKergow said. “Something about Dan’s approach felt different.”

Perdue told her about LEVEL 12’s Ultimate Bike Build Team Building Program, an exercise in which participants assemble bicycles together. The only issue, Perdue said, was they needed to find kids to donate the bikes to at the end of the program.

“I told him — we have kids!” McKergow recalled.

11 bikes for 11 students

On February 7, Perdue was hosting his bike building program with Black & McDonald, a local construction company, at the William Gray Hotel in Montreal’s Old Port.

Meanwhile, four staff from Verdun Elementary School — Meghan Louie, Tracey Kenny, Shaina James and McKergow — gathered 11 students from kindergarten to grade 3 for the one-of-a-kind field trip.

“The students were chosen by the resource team because the turnaround on this offer needed to be so rapid,” she explained.

The students arrived at the hotel, where the Verdun Elementary School team ushered them into a room. Once inside, they were immediately met with resounding applause from the Black & McDonald participants. The students then walked onstage and saw the bikes.

The participants asked the children what they should do with the bikes they built.

“One of our students said that they could give the bikes to them,” McKergow said with a laugh.

The Black & McDonald employees did just that and the students were overjoyed. The children practiced getting on the bikes and giving their new treasures a first spin in the hotel.

The following day, the bicycles arrived at the school, fully equipped with helmets.

“It was a wonderful experience. I’m so happy we were able to be a part of it,” McKergow said.

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