PREBLE COUNTY — Preble Trails has been working to teach bicycle safety in local Preble County Schools and provide students with free helmets. The organization held its 4th annual Bike Give Away Program for all second grade students at Hollingsworth-East Elementary on Tuesday, May 7.
The group has also provided all Preble County school districts with free helmets for their second graders.
According to Preble Trails Committee Chair Dan Schmidt, every year the organization applies for a grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics to receive bike helmets for distribution as part of the “Put A Lid On It” Bike Helmet Safety Awareness Program.
“As the success of our program has grown we decided it was time to expand the helmet giveaway to all five county schools. Though we don’t have the time and manpower to put on a program at all the schools we did come up with a lesson plan, bicycle safety video and of course the helmets for all the second grade teaches in Preble County to give to their students. Those helmets were distributed last week,” Schmidt said.
“[For the program at East Elementary] we were joined by Eaton Police Chief Steve Hurd who is also a part of our presentation and teaches the kids about bike laws, signals and other important things. We were also joined by our Preble County Commissioners, Chris Day, Rodney Creech and Denise Robertson. It is great to have the support of our local leaders.”
For Chief Hurd, the program at Hollingsworth-East Elementary was an important opportunity to interact with students in a positive way. It is one of the ways they earn trust and build relationships with the youth of the community, according to Hurd.
“We always prefer to be preventative rather than responsive. Teaching second grade Eaton students about bicycle safety is one way to get ahead of a possible incident,” he said.
“Bicycle helmets are a great way to help protect your child. Preble Trails graciously provided helmets to the second grade students. Make sure that your child does not ride a bicycle alone, always has a partner, and that there is safety in numbers. Bicycle thefts are always on the rise during the warmer months. Please make sure bicycles are secured. You can also register your bicycle at the Eaton Police Division or online at www.eatonpolice.org. This will assist the officer in recovering your bicycle if it is stolen.”
Schmidt added, he believes it is important to present the program for the school because “kids are our future” and it is crucial to educate and protect them.
“[I hope they learned] to really think about being safe on a bike or scooter, to pay attention to things like traffic signals and other people who might be around them when they are out riding bikes or doing other things outside. We want to plant that seed to help them remember to pay attention to there surroundings while they are outside having fun,” he said.
More information on Preble Trail can be found at prebletrails.org.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH