“Protect the Melon” program encourages kids to wear bike helmets


A billboard on East Morton Avenue in Jacksonville proclaims “Protect the Melon!” It is part of a campaign to encourage children to use bike helmets and proper safety gear while outdoors.

Jeremy Turner, Illinois College psychology professor said, “The Illinois College psychology department and the Jacksonville Children’s Foundation hope that this campaign will remind parents of young developing children in Jacksonville that brain health and the proper safety measures are a serious matter for consideration. We want to encourage the public to take one easy and inexpensive precaution to reduce the risk of brain injury.”

More information can be found at the “Protect the Melon” Web page at

Turner said Holly Smith, a senior from Springfield, worked on this grant application last fall as a service project connected to her psychology coursework. The Jacksonville Children’s Foundation supported the effort by awarding a $1,850 grant to promote brain health and safety among Jacksonville area children. Illinois College provided matching funds for the grant.

Illinois College students will continue the campaign this fall by presenting bike helmet safety programming for elementary school children, conducting fundraisers to purchase bike helmets for area children and distributing stickers to remind riders of all ages to wear proper safety gear when biking.


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