After a pandemic-related interruption, Healthiest Ames has again partnered with Mary Greeley Medical Foundation and Skunk River Cycles to provide area third and fourth graders with free helmets to encourage safety while engaging in healthy activities like bicycling, scootering, and roller skating. Because bike helmets were unable to be distributed last year, third and fourth graders at all five Ames Community School District elementary schools and St. Cecilia’s School will receive free helmets this week. The distribution took place starting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 4, beginning at Sawyer and Fellows schools, followed by Edwards, Mitchell, and Meeker.

“This amazing collaboration promotes exercise and active play while protecting our kids at the same time,” said Ann Thompson, Healthiest Ames Board. “Getting students helmets at the third and fourth grade level really helps set expectations for wearing them while being active. We are so grateful to Mary Greeley Foundation for its support.”

In previous years, volunteers from Healthiest Ames Board of Directors and Mary Greeley Foundation helped fit each student and help them select a helmet. With pandemic protocols in place, this year the helmets will be dropped off at the schools for teachers and aides to distribute. Skunk River Cycles ordered and organized all the helmets using head measurements provided for each student.

Healthiest Ames is volunteer group committed to promoting healthy lifestyles in Ames with the goal of making the Ames the healthiest city in Iowa. It was formally founded in 2011 and represents a variety of organizations working to the improve health and wellness of residents. The four focus areas include healthy food choices, community connectedness, health condition awareness, and physical activity.