Highland Elementary (Madison County School District) - Fitness, nutrition and wellness programs

Partners: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, City of Ridgeland, Ridgeland Police Department, Ridgeland Fire Department, Indian Cycle and Fitness, CYCLE Kids, Highland Elementary PTO, Barnett’s Body Shop and Automotive Color

Students impacted: 448
Volunteers: 20
Partnership duration: 2 years 

In August 2015, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation awarded Highland Elementary a $27,300 grant to implement CYCLE Kids, a national program that teaches students about bicycle safety and nutrition. Championed by Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee, the eight-week fitness, nutrition and wellness program uses bicycling to teach fourth and fifth graders the importance of physical activity and healthy habits while helping build cardiovascular and core strength. In January 2016, Highland Elementary, with the help of numerous community partners, became the first and currently only school in Mississippi to implement CYCLE Kids.


  • 25 students learned how to ride a bike for the first time
  • Built lasting relationships with local police officers and firefighters
  • Learned about proper helmet fit, using hand signals and bicycle maintenance
  • Graduation ceremony involving community


  • Significant improvement in cardiovascular skills and core strength
  • Greater awareness of bicycle safety
  • Greater awareness of healthy nutrition