The Denison Public Library is inviting children ages 4 and up, as well as their families, to a morning of bicycle-themed stories and safety activities during its bicycle safety program Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

Following storytime and a review of bicycle safety rules, children will receive free bicycle helmets provided by the Denison Public Library and the Texas Medical Association’s Hard Hats for Little Heads program before being challenged to navigate their bicycles through an obstacle course. The Denton Bicycle Center will provide children’s bicycles for use during the obstacle course for any children that may not have access to a bicycle.

By providing free helmets to children through the Texas Medical Association’s Hard Hats for Little Heads program, the Denison Public Library is living up to Library Director Kimberly Bowen’s plan for the library to be a lifeline for the community it serves.

“This is a great service,” Youth Services Programming Supervisor Joyce Ullah said. “Not many children have helmets because the cost is prohibitive.”

Bowen said the Denison library is partnering with the Denton Bicycle Center and Texas Medical Association to offer the bike safety program to the community.

“It is alarming to realize some injuries from a bicycle accident can be so serious that children die, usually from head injuries,” Bowen said. “With this realization we felt that offering a bicycle safety program and providing free helmets could help to prevent potential injuries and might even save a life.”

The Denison Public Library often utilizes the individual and collective talents of library staff, volunteers and local community organizations to help bring library patrons and the Denison community free educational and recreational programming that enriches their personal and professional lives.

Joe Holland, manager and head mechanic at Denton Bicycle Center, and his wife, Katie Deeds-Holland, will explain safety rules, provide children’s bicycles for use in the obstacle course, and lead volunteers in sizing and fitting children for the free helmet giveaway made possible by a partnership between the Denison Public Library and the Texas Medical Association’s Hard Hats for Little Heads Program.

The program is for children age 4and older, though guardian attendance is required. A limited number of helmets are available and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. In the event of rain, this program will be moved inside the library.

Hard Hats for Little Heads is supported in 2018 with a TMA Foundation grant thanks to its Legacy of Caring Endowment and top donors — an anonymous physician and spouse, TMAF Make-A-Difference donors, and the Texas Academy of Family Physicians — and unrestricted gifts from TMA and TMA Alliance members, and friends of medicine.