Liza Clough says bike safety was important to her family before her brother Jake got in a bike accident with a car in 2005.
Today, bike safety and proper use of bike helmets are more important than ever to the Cloughs.
“A bike helmet saved Jake’s life,” Clough said. “We think it’s really important that kids in the area know that helmets keep them safe.”
Though Jake Clough died after a medical error while being cared for at Children’s Mercy Hospital, doctors say without his bike helmet, he would have died at the accident. Following his death, the Cloughs started “Headstrong for Jake,” a program that provides free bike helmets and safety education for kids.
This year, Liza, a sophomore at SM East, expanded the reach of “Headstrong for Jake” with a new program through SHARE. Along with Liza, SM East sophomores Maggie Niven, Sydney Griswold, Sami Walter and Sarah Guerricagoitia have teamed up with the Prairie Village Police Department, Johnson County MEDACT and The University of Kansas Hospital, to put on 30-minute bike and road safety presentations at local elementary schools. The group made their first presentation at Prairie Elementary earlier this month. They have their second presentation scheduled at Belinder Elementary in April.
Liza said so far the program has been very well received, with students showing increased understanding of basic safety principles on before and after quizzes.
“We want to make sure kids know that a helmet isn’t just an accessory,” she said. “It’s there to protect you.”
For more information on Headstrong for Jake, click here.