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Hollywood movie director, U of M team up to surprise kids with new bikes

A Hollywood movie director is giving 83 fifth graders at a local elementary school each a bicycle to teach the kids that it is better to give than to receive. A Hollywood movie director is giving 83 fifth graders at a local elementary school each a bicycle to teach the kids that it is better to give than to receive.
The director is also giving fifth graders at a local elementary school each a bicycle to teach the kids that it is better to give than to receive. The director is also giving fifth graders at a local elementary school each a bicycle to teach the kids that it is better to give than to receive.

(WMC) - Forty University of Memphis students and a Hollywood movie director teamed up Friday, bringing love and joy to a Memphis school.

Movie director Tom Shadyac, who directed "Bruce Almighty" and "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," among others, teaches a course called "Storytelling and Life" at U of M. On the final day of class, Shadyac gives each of his students a bicycle to remind them to have fun in life.

The director is also giving fifth graders at a local elementary school each a bicycle to teach the kids that it is better to give than to receive.

"He bought each one of us about a $700 bike, and I'm definitely going to make the most of it," said student Andrew Yonza.

The long haired fellow, who posed with his students in a picture, bought each a bike for his grand finale of his U of M course this semester called "Storytelling and Life."

"A bike changed my life; a bike reminded me it was a blessing to be childlike and play again. So much about our society says you've got to be serious. You've got to be serious. You've got to be serious. Some of the great mystics have said you've got to get serious about play," said Shadyac.

After making millions, a bike accident left Shadayc seriously injured. During convalescence, the director re-evaluated his life and started giving back big time.

"That's what I want to try to teach these kids: if you really want to receive wealth: give," he said.

"He's giving away his worldly goods to make the world a better place. He's changed my life," said student Steve Collins.

So here's the plot twist that brought joy to 5th graders at Treadwell Elementary. Principal Monica Wicks received the word something good was about to happen:

"Everyone can be a blessing in some small way: some bigger than others. Today will demonstrate. We can all do something to be a blessing to others in need."

The something Tom Shadyac's U-of-M students helped deliver Friday came as a total surprise to Treadwell's 5th graders. Two school buses were parked strategically to hide the gift:100 new bikes, one for each of them.

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