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kids helping kids put on bike helmets

Murrayville-Woodson Elementary students Levi Birdsell (left, in green) and Payton Saxer (green) are fitted with helmets by Illinois College students (from left) Alessandra Capparelli, Kyle Lucca and Jordan Lewis.
Protect the Melon! Thursday 17 April 2014
Photos by Steve of Warmowski Photography http://www.warmowskiphoto.com 217.473.5581 EWRM/The Image Works 140417
The Jacksonville Park Foundation and Passavant Area Hospital are partnering with Illinois College Professor Dr. Jeremy Turner to give away helmets to every fourth grade student in Jacksonville.

The Protect the Melon! campaign encourages youth to wear a helmet when biking, roller skating, riding a scooter, skateboarding or any other “wheeled” activity. “The importance of wearing a helmet has been shown to save lives and protect against brain injuries,” said Dr. Turner. “Being active is essential to being a healthy child, and with that comes falls and tumbles.”

Illinois College psychology students have been presenting the brain awareness program and giving away bicycle helmets to fourth graders at Lincoln Elementary for a number of years. Jacksonville Park Foundation founding board member Harry Ford had the idea to expand the program to all the schools in the community. Passavant has agreed to provide proceeds from the May 31 Passavant-Powerade 5K and 10K Race to provide helmets for all 350-plus fourth graders in Jacksonville public and private schools.

On Thursday, April 17, Illinois College students will travel to District 117 schools to give a lesson on how the brain works, show how a melon with and without a helmet fares when hitting the pavement, and distribute the helmets. Distribution to Our Saviour School, Salem Lutheran School, Westfair Christian Academy and Illinois School for the Deaf will be at a later date.

Links, tips and information on being a Melonhead is available at ic.edu/melonhead.

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