The Rolling Rodeo returns to the playground of Southwark Elementary School, 9th and Mifflin streets, Saturday, May 12th, from 10am to 12pm. Children under 12 years old from surrounding neighborhoods are invited to bring “anything with wheels” (and their parents or a guardian) to this family-friendly event. The Rodeo is produced by the Friends of Southwark, part of the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association Education Committee which helps support the school.
Last year, children descended on the school yard on bicycles, scooters, roller skates, and in wagons. Organizers expect the same mix of wheeled conveyances this year, but they’ve collaborated with new partners to expand the event. Children can decorate their rides, race through a road-safety obstacle course, and participate in other games. As Friends of Southwark chair Nichole Girgenti explained: “The event provides a safe space for children to ride and race, while learning the rules of the road and participating in helmet and bike checks.”
In addition to the learning component, “The 2017 Rolling Rodeo was successful as a welcoming and inclusive event for all of our South Philadelphia neighbors,” Girgenti explained, “This is due in large part to the driving force behind the event, David Krill.” Krill, a neighbor of the school and Friends of Southwark member, conceived and found funding for the event.
Girgenti credited the Community Schools Initiative with helping Friends of Southwark expand the event this year, “They brought together the school’s partners and connected our collective programming efforts.” As part of the collaboration, the Center for Urban Health at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals sponsored 55 helmets. These will be distributed to children who attend the event without a helmet of their own. Additional helmets were donated by Indego. A water station will be set up with free, refillable bottles donated by Southwark School partner Bethanna.
Visitors are also welcome inside the school where the Southwark Family and Community Day will take place. The indoor event features arts and literacy activities sponsored by Sunrise of Philadelphia and Fleisher Art Memorial. A multicultural food bazaar will be held in the parking lot at 8th and Mifflin streets. Representatives from BenePhilly will be on hand to help connect parents and community members with available benefits.
“It will be a full morning of fun and learning for the whole community,” says Girgenti, “and we’re still looking for volunteers to help on the day of the event!” Adult volunteers are needed to assist with check-in, staff the water station, and distribute helmets. If you’re interested in volunteering, please sign up online.
Enter the Rodeo on Mifflin Street, between 8th and 9th streets.