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Bike Helmet Giveaway Benefits Hundreds of Ridgecrest and Meridian Park Students

Following King County’s 2022 repeal of the bike helmet law, Shorecrest high school graduate Schuyler Peters saw a need for bike helmets and helmet education. This law student and Lake Forest Park resident got active rather than angry, and she began reaching out to local non-profit organizations, health agencies, and law enforcement agencies who might partner with her on this mission to equip and educate.

Schuyler Peters fitting Ridgecrest student

Schuyler’s initiative led to a new partnership with Seattle Children’s. She and Drew Swanner, Seattle Children’s Community Outreach Project Coordinator, developed a project funded by Panda Express Panda Cares that has provided more than 1,000 helmets to K-5 students at Meridian Park and Ridgecrest elementary schools.

Shares Schuyler, "After some extensive research on the repeal of King County's helmet law, I knew that I wanted to take on a project like this to reaffirm the importance of helmets and make them more accessible to young people in our community.  The opportunity to connect Drew Swanner and Seattle Children's Hospital to both Ridgecrest and Meridian Park has been nothing short of wonderful, and as a Shoreline Schools alum and Lake Forest Park resident, this has been an exceedingly meaningful experience.  I hope this is only the beginning of the district's partnership with Seattle Children's."

Two Meridian Park kindergarten students with new helmets

Putting helmets to heads also required coordination and support from school staff, and importantly, many volunteers from the Ridgecrest PTA and Meridian Park PTSA. These dedicated parents, guardians, and area residents volunteered their time to learn about proper helmet fit and apply it to hundreds of eager young students, who left happily clutching their new safety gear for biking, scootering, and skateboarding.

Meridian Park Principal Aram Osterlye says, "This event would not be possible without the efforts of our amazing PTSA. The bike helmet giveaway was a huge success and the partnership that has been established between Shoreline School District and Seattle Children's is something that we look forward to fostering in future years. I thank Schuyler Peters and Drew Swanner for their commitment to supporting student safety and providing an opportunity for students to practice helmet safety in the Shoreline community."

Ridgecrest Principal Daniel Natividad offers, “I am proud of our Ridgecrest community and alumna Schuyler Peters, who came back to give back to our school. In partnership with Seattle Children’s, Schuyler’s project reinforces our Ridgecrest Ram values of being safe, respectful, kind, and responsible by giving all 452 students a helmet. For all of our students, this is a concrete reminder of how we care about their safety and wellbeing beyond our classroom walls.”

Meridian Park kindergarten student being fitted for a helmet by PTSA volunteer

And the free helmet program will continue for incoming Ridgecrest and Meridian kindergarten students in future years, as well as make available new helmets for students whose become damaged or are outgrown.

Shoreline School District Superintendent Susana Reyes says, "I am grateful for the initiative of Shoreline alumna Schuyler Peters and the generosity of Seattle Children's to bring a bike helmet giveaway to students in our community. Creating awareness about bike safety and providing protective gear for children while on wheels is important and impactful work. I see children riding their bikes around many of our neighborhoods, and I'm so grateful for this partnership to help keep them safe!" shares Superintendent Susana Reyes. "Thank you also to the Ridgecrest and Meridian Park staff and PTA volunteers for contributing to the success of these events."


Local Media Coverage:

Shoreline children receive 1,000 new helmets for cycling, scooters (KING5)

Helmet distribution will protect kids on Shoreline’s streets thanks to one woman on a mission (Shoreline Area News)

Event Photos:

Meridian Park student gets bike helmet fitted by PTSA volunteer


Meridian Park PTSA volunteer celebrates a student's successful helmet fitting


Meridian Park PTSA member and Seattle Children's Drew Swanner


Ridgecrest student being fitted for a helmet by PTA volunteer


Ridgecrest student smiling while receiving their helmet from a PTA volunteer