Safe Kids Gwinnett and Gwinnett County Fire teamed with Sustainable Norcross on Bike to School Day at to present chosen students with helmets as part of the .
SRTS, a Sustainable Norcross initiative that encourages children to lead healthier lifestyles by walking or biking to school, picked eight middle-schoolers for its new bicycle project. The project aims to help each child earn a bicycle by repairing his or her designated bike donated from Sustainable Norcross' in April.
For Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 9, the kids weren't able to start working on their bikes just yet, but they got a glimpse of what they'll be receiving soon.
With its newest partner Safe Kids Gwinnett, SRTS showed the students the helmets they'll be given once they fix their bikes. As a Safe Kids benefactor, firefighters from Station No. 1 in Norcross were also in tow to show support.
Safe Kids supplied the helmets, which were made possible through grant funds and a donation from Bell, the well-known headgear company.
"One of the key components of Safe Kids is pedestrian and bike safety and promoting bike helmet use," said Tania Diaz, the coordinator of Safe Kids Gwinnett. "Eighty-eight percent of brain injuries can be avoided if kids just wear helmets."
The middle-schoolers are expected to start repairing the bikes as early as next week at Communicycle Bicycle Co-Op, located in Chamblee. Volunteers will be assisting the children with cleaning, fixing and getting the bikes ready for use.
Gissel Beltran, a seventh grader at Summerour, said she walks 15 minutes one-way to school right now, so she's estatic about getting her own set of wheels. She plans to use it recreationally and everyday, too.
"Especially since the summer is coming up," Beltran said. "Sometimes I have to stay back when my friends bike to the store, so I'm excited that I get to ride with them now, too."
Fifteen donated bikes have been identified as being easily repairable and size-appropriate for middle-schoolers, so SRTS is in the process of choosing more kids for the program, said SRTS Co-Chair Connie Weathers.
The students also received goodie bags filled with reflector stickers and blinkers, water bottles, SRTS bracelets and safety info on why it's important to wear helmets.
Sustainable Norcross is seeking adult volunteers to escort students and work alongside the regular Communicycle volunteers to mentor the young cyclists. Contact email@example.com or 404-229-7077 for more information.
SRTS also aims to complete its Summerour travel plan, which was approved at .
A group of community volunteers and stakeholders researched for a year to identify barriers to safely walking and biking to Summerour Middle School and to recommend solutions. The plan covers the Five E's: Evaluation, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement and Engineering, with recommendations in all areas. These include safety information for students and their families, walking and biking events, and a list of infrastructure projects to work on over the next year or longer.