Jackson State University’s Center for University-Based Development has partnered with Voice of Calvary Ministries for the “Cruising the Community” children’s bike ride as part of the ministry’s “On the Road to Health” initiative.
The event is scheduled for Aug. 24, with registration starting at 8 a.m. at the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center. The ride is open to children ages 5-12. They can ride bikes, scooters, wagons, rollerblades, wheelchairs or skateboards. No motorized vehicles are allowed. The 1.2 mile route is on the parkway around JSU’s main campus.
The event also will feature free health screenings, helmets and food. The celebrity guest is Roscoe Orman, who plays the character “Gordon” on Sesame Street. Orman will read his children’s book, “Ricky and Mobo,” the story of a young boy who entered a bike race.
“On the Road to Health” promotes exercise, healthy eating and positive lifestyles in a family setting. JSU also wants to encourage the community to engage in healthy activities, said Heather Wilcox, neighborhood development assistant for CUBD.
“By hosting this event, CUBD will raise awareness about healthy lifestyle choices, encourage the people to use the parkway for exercise, and most importantly, continue to foster a positive relationship between community stakeholders and JSU,” Wilcox said. “JSU wants to work collaboratively with stakeholders to create a healthier, more vibrant community in the West Jackson area.”
Mississippi has the highest rates of childhood and adult obesity in the nation, according to the state Department of Health. Childhood obesity has been linked to heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. Forty percent of children in Mississippi are obese.
In addition to providing fun exercise, the bike ride aims to raise awareness about bike safety, expose youth to safe routes for biking and walking and make health screenings available for parents and caregivers.
Register for the event at www.jsums.edu/cubd/cruising