A generous fifth grader saved up and bought something he knew his brother always wanted — and then his school surprised him, too

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MIDDLETOWN — The staff at Mayfield Elementary School figured one kind gesture deserved to be rewarded.

When Robert Medina, a fifth-grader there, saved up all his Middie PRIDE Bucks throughout the school year, he purchased a used bike for his younger brother in the school’s PRIDE store.

Robert told the Mayfield staff that his brother, Abraham, a second grader, didn’t own a bike. Then Mayfield Principal Andrea Blevins found out Robert didn’t own a bike, either.

“We were so impressed that he picked his brother over himself,” Blevins said. “The entire staff was touched by his story.”

When word of Robert’s thoughtfulness spread throughout the building, Blevins talked to the teachers and staff about taking up a collection, and everyone supported the idea, she said. They bought Robert a new $200 BMX bike, helmet and lock, then presented the two bikes to the brothers at the school’s fifth-grade assembly.

Both of the boys, Blevins said, were shocked when the bikes were wheeled onto the stage, and at the end of the assembly, the entire student body gave the Medina boys a standing ovation. She said the boys typically walk to school every day, but they rode their bikes home after the assembly. She said staff have seen the brothers riding their bikes around the neighborhood.

The bike Robert purchased for his brother was donated by retired Mayfield gym teacher, Randy Smith.

Their mother, Silvia Rivera, 41, said she wasn’t surprised by Robert’s kindness. He does chores around the house every day, she said.

“He’s a really, really good boy,” said Rivera, who was born in Mexico and moved to the United States when she was 8. “I’m really happy and thank God for the teachers. I really appreciate all of them.”

Patricia Kienlen, a retired Mayfield teacher, volunteers in the school’s Middie PRIDE store twice a week, and without fail, she said Robert would visit the store and tell the volunteers how much money he had saved. He never purchased anything, but always made sure the bike was still there, she said.

She said students are rewarded for their positive behavior by receiving Middie Bucks, and typically they spend the play money as fast as it’s received. Some of the students spend $5 per week, she said.

But not Robert. He saved every penny.

“This makes you proud to be an educator,” Blevins said.

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