V.I. National Guard, BMX athletes team up to inspire students

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ST. CROIX - Students at a number of schools across the island will be treated to some high-rolling entertainment this week as the V.I. National Guard presents a program hoped to increase their character values.

Sgt. Karen Williams, National Guard spokeswoman, said Tuesday that the Recruiting and Retention Office of the guard is presenting "Bring Your A-Game to School" this week as an outreach that they hope will help motivate students.

"Bring Your A-Game to School" is a high school campaign that encourages exhibiting a positive attitude every day, which is possible through physical and mental fitness," she said.

Williams said professional BMX athletes from AGA Nation will perform high-flying bicycle acrobatics starting today at two St. Croix schools and will continue their performances and character-building efforts at schools throughout the week, culminating in performances open to the public on Saturday.

The performances will be:

- Today at 10 a.m. at AZ Academy (with students from Juanita Guardine School).

- Today at 2 p.m. at Free Will Baptist School.

- Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at Arthur Richards School.

- Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at St. Joseph High School.

- Friday at 10 a.m. at Educational Complex.

- Friday 3 p.m. Central High School.

In addition to the school presentations, on Saturday the cyclists will have two performances at the V. I. Transportation Expo at 10 a.m. and at 3 p.m. at the Educational Complex campus.

Williams said the initiative is part of a national campaign, and "Bring Your A-Game To School" assemblies have been taking place across the United States for years.

"What we do is concentrate on the values we like to see in our youth and community," she said. "I know these values are for the most part taught at home and in our schools, but this is just one more opportunity to enhance the relationships, and it helps them to understand what is required of them now and as they advance into the work world."

She said the seven core educational A's of the program are: alliance; attitude; authentic; ability; active; anti-bullying; and achievement. During presentation and talks with students, the group tries to bring out the importance of observing the seven characteristics.

Williams said the events also promote teamwork, friendship, tolerance and respect in order to reach goals, and the characteristics focused on in the program mirror the core values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage that are at the forefront of what the men and women of the National Guard are sworn to uphold.

AGA Nation is a Sports Entertainment Group that showcases the action sports world. The group promotes athletes of all skill levels and supports outreach activities by organizations and community programs.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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