In a sweet holiday bombshell leveled Monday, an entire third grade class in Tustin in need was surprised with bikes and helmets "Oprah style" for every student.
The students were first told that they were participating in an essay contest. Four students were to win bikes and helmets based on their essays written on the topic of empathy. Four other students also won bikes randomly at the assembly, Jeane Thorman Elementary School principal Deanna Parks said in a statement.
After these students were awarded, the curtain would be pulled back to reveal bikes for every third grader. It was a special surprise for "Thorman kids who are from low socioeconomic families," the school said in a statement.
All of the students who attend are Title 1, which means they all qualify for free lunches.
"Some kids in some areas don't know how to swim and some kids in some areas don't know how to ride a bike," Parks said.
The teachers, staff and students were all unaware of the big reveal, only thinking four students total were to receive bikes.
In another heartbreaking facet of the story, the school has a bike lock-up that has remained empty as there has never been a bike in it. But that should change now.
Some of the students admitted that they've never owned a bike.
"So it's going to be a new experience, yeah? I can't wait to push on one and go," Liliana Soto said.
The giveaway was provided by nonprofit Bike for Kids from San Diego.