Santa will come a little early this year for 50 Midtown Jackson youth, thanks to generous partners of the SkateMS Foundation. Donated by Swell O Phonic, skateboards will be distributed to students of Project Innovation, a program of MidTown Partners which provides a quality afterschool experience for youth of the Midtown neighborhood. The SkateMS Foundation, established in 2011 to encourage kids to get outside, exercise, and enjoy the growing sport of skateboarding, has organized the event for tomorrow at 3pm.

SkateMS volunteers will provide hands-on instruction and education on proper riding at the Mid-Jackson Family Resource Center at 301 Adelle Street. The Brain Injury Association of Mississippi, another sponsor, will give a presentation on the importance of wearing a helmet to the youth. Supporting the SkateMS mission of building safe, concrete public skate parks in Mississippi, sponsor Swell-O-Phonic has been a long-time supporter of a local free park for youth.

Formed in 1995 for the social and economic revitalization of their neighborhood, the mission of MidTown Partners is to build a vibrant, healthy, sustainable community, while serving as a catalyst for improving the quality of life. Their afterschool program, Project Innovation, was awarded the Governor’s Award for Excellence in 2010 and provides students with experience in STEM/Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, as well as art education. Participation is free and transportation provided to students who must be in second through fifth grades and residents of Midtown.

SkateMS co-director Austin Cannon shares, “We’re excited about this fun opportunity to give away skateboards to deserving kids, while educating them on responsible riding and promoting our mantra of ‘Kids Need Fresh Air.’ Swell-O-Phonic has been so generous and we think these kids are going to be pretty excited to see us on Friday.” For more information about SkateMS, visit www.skatems.com.