We are pleased to share an update from Lowell, where our partner, The Bike Connector, had a strong start-up year getting bikes and safety materials to students, despite the many challenges of COVID-19. We hope interest and momentum is building around The Bike Connector’s work.
As of mid-August, The Bike Connector had distributed 93 new refurbished bikes to local students (which is a big accomplishment, even in non-COVID times). Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to support the organization’s bike safety initiative. Our attorneys gave each student a new bicycle helmet, as part of our Project KidSafe campaign.
The Bike Connector had to relocate from its classroom due to COVID-19. It ended up working out of a storage container at Career Academy in Lowell Highlands, which is part of the Lowell Public School system. But the organization made the set-up work. They even enjoyed a few benefits, such as being able to work with students outside, having bikes and safety gear nearby and shade from the hot sun.
The organization identified youth who needed bikes by partnering with the Lowell Public Schools and other educational, non-profit and social services agencies across the city. These organizations included Brigid’s Crossing; Merrimack Valley Catholic Charities and the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association. Other partners: the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lowell; UMass Lowell Freewheelers; Elevate New England; and New American Center.
If you were in Lowell this summer, you may have seen The Bike Connector giving away refurbished bikes and helmets. You may have seen the students and their families having a lot of fun as they received new bikes. If you looked closer, the excitement extended beyond students and their families. Word of events spread quickly in neighborhoods.
Behind the scenes, what you didn’t see was The Bike Connector also offered a four-week online summer bike academy to incoming freshmen at Lowell High School this summer. This program introduced students to bike safety, bike maintenance, the rules of the road, Lowell geography and urban planning. Each student who participated earned a bike, helmet and light. We hope this course proves to be a guide as students return to school and want to travel safely on bikes.
About Breakstone, White & Gluck – Boston Personal Injury Lawyers
Breakstone, White & Gluck is a Boston personal injury law firm which represents clients who have been seriously injured by negligence or wrongdoing. In 2013, our lawyers founded our Project KidSafe campaign, with a goal of encouraging children to wear helmets every time they ride. By wearing a properly-fitted helmet, children and other cyclists can protect against head injuries. In Massachusetts, children age 16 and younger are required to wear helmets. But children need more. They need a strong encouragement from their families and others in the community. If you are a parent, we encourage you to wear a helmet along with your child.
Learn more about Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign.
Attorney David W. White was pleased to deliver 100 bicycle helmets to Wade Rubinstein of The Bike Connector in Lowell this morning. Breakstone, White & Gluck donated the helmets as part of our 2020 Project KidSafe campaign for bike safety.
This was our first donation to The Bike Connector and it was a real pleasure to meet Wade and learn about his work. The Bike Connector provides bikes to income-disadvantaged youth and immigrants throughout the city of Lowell. This summer, The Bike Connector is working with the city’s high school summer programs to distribute 100 free refurbished bikes. Now, each cyclist will also receive a free Project KidSafe bicycle helmet from Breakstone, White & Gluck.
The bicycles are important donations. In Lowell, there is no school bus service for high school students. Students can ride the Lowell Regional Transit Authority, walk or get a ride. Bicycles open up new opportunities for students to stay connected and on track with school activities.
“These helmets are really going to help keep kids in Lowell safe,” Wade said. “I want to thank Breakstone, White & Gluck for providing us these helmets. They are going to go a long way.”
Though snow fell this week, students from Career Academy in Lowell still managed to make the most of school vacation, fitting in a bike ride to Heart Pond in Chelmsford. This was a special ride because students were pedaling new bikes – and wearing new helmets. Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate the helmets from our Project KidSafe campaign.
The idea for the bike ride began with Bernice Chandler-Petrovick, who teaches biology. Some of her students needed bikes to get to school and travel more independently. She began teaching students about bicycle safety while also setting out on another goal: finding bikes for her students.
“Most of my students do not have bikes and cannot afford a new one,” she said. “The same is true for helmets.”
Then she found Elevate New England and Breakstone, White & Gluck. Elevate New England is a Lowell-based mentoring organization working with students and schools. The organization gathered used and new bikes, then refurbished the used ones like new for students.
Students can expect to hear more about bicycle safety at Career Academy. Chandler-Petrovick is now working to build a bike rack so students can safely park their bikes at the school. She hopes to expand the bicycle donation program next year.
“Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible,” Chandler-Petrovick said. “I worked with two strong community partners, Breakstone, White & Gluck and Elevate New England. We now have 14 students with bikes and each has a helmet. This project will make a difference for my students and their families.”
Breakstone, White & Gluck launched our Project KidSafe campaign in 2013, with a goal of protecting children from head injuries. Over the past six years, we have donated over 20,000 bicycle helmets, in partnership with police departments, schools and community organizations.
Bicycle Helmet Tips
Wearing a bicycle helmet is the most effective way to protect one’s head if they fall on a bicycle or are involved in bicycle crash. Though millions of Americans ride bikes, fewer than half wear bicycle helmets, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many states, including Massachusetts, have laws mandating bicycle helmets for younger cyclists. In Massachusetts, you must wear a helmet if you are 16 and younger. However, all cyclists are encouraged to wear helmets for safety and to prevent concussions and serious long-term head injuries.
If you are a parent, make sure everyone in your family has a helmet and they properly fit. Have your children wear one as soon as they get on a bike and wear one yourself so they will follow your lead.
Make sure your helmet is in good working condition. The helmet needs to be able to absorb an impact should you fall. Replace your helmet every few years at a minimum. Resist the urge to pass helmets down between siblings or friends. Helmets are expensive so we know this may be tempting. But you want to make sure the helmet is fit to protect you or your child.