Hard Hats School Giveaways Help Kids Read, Ride
By Tammy Wishard

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Motivating kids to stay active and succeed academically obviously is a win-win. During the COVID-19 pandemic, joining with a local school that gives bikes as a reward for achievement is a good fit for a Texas Medical Association Hard Hats for Little Heads bike helmet giveaway. 

Kent Rasmussen, MD, an Arlington internist, got involved with Hard Hats by way of the Kiwanis Club of Arlington’s Bringing Up Grades (BUG) program, which rewards third- and fourth-graders in Arlington ISD who earn a spot on the A/B honor roll. Students who make the honor roll are entered into a drawing, and one boy and one girl are selected for the six-week grading periods. The lucky winners at six schools receive a gently used bike, along with a helmet. 

“This has been a wonderful motivating tool for the schools,” said Dr. Rasmussen. “And personally, it has been very exciting to be involved in such a positive and affirming program.” He said the helmet is an important safety add-on when giving the bikes, particularly to  students who probably couldn’t afford a helmet otherwise. 

If you already support a local school, see if it has a similar learning incentive program to pair with a helmet giveaway. Or consider looking for a local school that has one.  

In Marshall ISD, the Read to Ride program rewards third-graders with a new bike and helmet for improving their reading skills by at least one grade level during the school year. Mission Marshall’s program is supported by community donations and CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center – Marshall. 

Brett Kinman, administrator for CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center – Marshall, said, “CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System has strong roots in the communities we serve, and sponsoring Mission Marshall’s Read to Ride program is just one of the ways we are able to help East Texas children stay healthy and safe. This program incentivizes children to read, while providing them with the tools needed to stay safe as they go out to play.” 

Misty Scott, executive director of Mission Marshall, said, “We believe strong readers become strong leaders. Together, Hard Hats for Little Heads and Read to Ride support this reading and leadership growth.” 

TMA has the tools you need for a successful giveaway. When you purchase up to 50 helmets, TMA boosts your giving power with an equal match of helmets. Helmets cost $7.85 each (including shipping). TMA also has free educational materials in English and Spanish to support your event. 

Texas Pediatric Society and Texas College of Emergency Physicians members can receive up to 50 helmets at no cost. Both organizations cover its members’ cost to purchase up to 25 helmets, and TMA provides an equal match of helmets. The Texas Academy of Family Physicians supports any family physician giveaway. 

To receive an order packet, contact Tammy Wishard, TMA outreach coordinator, at (512) 370-1470 or via email

Hard Hats for Little Heads is supported in 2020 with a grant from the TMA Foundation.

Last Updated On

August 06, 2020

Originally Published On

August 06, 2020

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Hard Hats for Little Heads

Tammy Wishard

Outreach Coordinator, Division of Communication

(512) 370-1470
Tammy Wishard

Tammy Wishard is TMA’s outreach coordinator. She manages TMA's award-winning Hard Hats for Little Heads and Be Wise — Immunize programs, and the Anson Jones, MD, Awards for excellence in health reporting. She has a 20-plus-year history with TMA, where she started as a writer/editor. Tammy, an Iowa native, is a graduate of Abilene Christian University.

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