HeadStart Helmets

Students at Booker T. Washington Elementary School try out their new bicycle helmets.

The New Mexico Brain Injury Advisory Council (BIAC), in conjunction with the New Mexico Governor’s Commission on Disability (GCD), distributed more than 300 bicycle helmets and helmet safety activity books to Head Start students at seven LCPS elementary schools, Wednesday, March 8 through Friday, March 10.

“This is an important initiative because it not only helps prevent head injuries, it also allows the children to safely develop motor skills and improve their balance and coordination,” said Head Start Director Dr. Maria Artiaga. “We appreciate any donation that helps to keep our students healthy and safe.”

The distribution is part of the group’s helmet safety initiative which provides free helmets and helmet safety education to pre-kindergarten and Head Start students throughout the state. Since 2011, the initiative has distributed more than 12,000 helmets and helmet safety activity books, according to the BIAC website.

A total of 310 helmets will be distributed at the following elementary schools: Booker T. Washington, César E. Chávez, Mesilla Park, Valley View, Loma Heights, Hermosa Heights and Conlee. This is the first year the initiative will distribute helmets to LCPS Head Start classrooms which were selected based on availability, ability to complete and BIAC Program Coordinator Monica Montoya’s schedule.

The BIAC is appointed by the governor to study and make recommendations to the Governor’s Commission on Disability concerning case management, community support systems, long-term care, employment, emergency medical services, rehabilitation and prevention and the improvement and coordination of state activities relative to the concerns of persons with brain injuries and their families or other caregivers

The NM Governor’s Commission on Disability is a group committed to improving the quality of life of all New Mexicans with disabilities by addressing social integration, economic self-sufficiency, political resolve, physical and program accessibility, and full participation in the benefits of life and rights of all individuals. The commission serves as liaison and advisor to the Governor and Legislature on disability issues, according to the Commission’s website.

Head Start is free early learning, health and family well-being support program, funded by the federal government, which provides services to pre-kindergarten students and families who fall within federal poverty guidelines. For more information, contact Artiaga at (575) 527-6020 or martiaga@lcps.net or visit www.lcps.k12.nm.us/departments/instruction/federal-programs/head-start/.