If you're familiar with the Ride with Pride program in Muskegon County, you know it's an incentive based program that seeks to positively give kids guidance on making the right choices and being good citizens and the success of the program is spreading into our districts at the high school level where students can actually win a vehicle. Well, success breeds success and when there's an opportunity to expand what works into a younger group, well, the avenues are going to be found although elementary kids might just find it hard to wait around for a car.
Kids like a nice incentive at any age however and to get them thinking that there could be some positive reinforcement for doing the right thing early on has been what's driven Ride With Pride and as expansion into younger ages is happening, opportunity knocks too to help open some channels to help kids deal with what kids shouldn't necessarily have to deal with, but they are...because life isn't getting any easier. Riley Wynn Pride is here to try and help rescue childhood.
A creation of Tim Wheeler, Riley is a new character who's in a series of books that kids can collect for free at the Cartoonversation event at the Playhouse at White Lake on October 29th. It's from 12p-3p and everyone is invited and the free stuff is going to be amazing!!! Tim and I met up in his office on Green Street in Muskegon to learn a little more about the event coming up as well as his series of books who's goal is to help kids deal with some of the things that life offers by way of stress, that we might not be all that comfortable talking about with them. Take a listen.
The first 5 pledges are simple for kids. Wear a seatbelt, wear a helmet, get the most out of school, be kind and ride with pride. Simple goals set in place for kids to learn citizenship in a positively reinforced way and if you've watched this program flourish across the age groups, it seems to add in a layer of peer accountability too where young people are stopping and asking one another if they are doing the right thing in the pursuit of their pride goals. It's been an incredibly useful and impactful way to engage a younger generation that doesn't rely on fear and consequence.
For the parents the event as well as the book series is designed to help you engage with your kid. Hey, talking to kids about things today isn't easy. What Tim publishes are ways to help you navigate the tough stuff. Bullies? Loss of a relative or pet? Divorce? All topics kids are flooded with in today's day and age and quite sadly, we're all at a loss on how to address these things. Tim's book series can help. At the event on the 29th too, you'll be able to speak directly to the public safety and other officials in the area that impact our community. It's also a chance to enjoy some tricks and treats and a bit of "touch the truck" going on too....it's always a full event at the Playhouse at White Lake, but let's be honest....it's a pretty amazing cause and a pretty important topic.