“We distributed over 260 bicycle helmets,” proudly exclaimed Opa-locka volunteer Linda Parker as she and other volunteers assisted The Pilot Club of Miami in properly fitting summer camp participants from The City of Opa-locka Parks & Recreation Department and the Teen Upward Bound Camps with FREE new bicycle helmets, while Commissioner Rose Tydus observed the careful attention put into measuring and situating each protective head covering on Friday, June 29, 2012 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Opa-locka United Methodist Church, 630 Sharar Avenue, Opa-locka, Florida 33054.
Anchor Club members from Miami Springs Senior High School performed “BrainMinder” Presentations in two phases and shared their “BrainMinder Buddies” with all the campers in attendance. The children learned about safety through puppet shows with topics on “swimming with a buddy,” “using flotation devices,” “911 emergency,” “Protecting the Brain (with helmets)” and “Don’t touch a Gun.”
The children were given scenarios on what can happen when they (or their parents) do not wear helmets, seatbelts or look both ways when encountering crosswalks or intersections. Most were surprised to discover that their skulls were only one flat penny in depth and if their brain is bruised, it never heals, but has to rewire itself (if the injury allows).
The brand new helmets, for ages one and above, were donated by the Red Bike Resource Center. Volunteers, such as Mrs. Parker, MUST be trained and certified to properly fit the head of each child, so their brain will be fully protected in the event of a fall.
Commissioner Tydus was so “tickled” to see how much enthusiasm the helmets generated among the children. “It’s like Christmas…look at how happy they are wearing those helmets,” she laughed. “I know some of their parents are just going to have a difficult time convincing them to remove the helmets before bedtime. I KNOW some of these kid are going to sleep in their new gift.”
The Pilot Club also distributed bookmarks, coloring books and the official “BrainMinder Buddies” Certificates to all the children.