By Susan Russell
Santa Clarita Contributor
At the Safety Town camp graduation ceremonies, young children, 4 1/2 to 6 years of age, impressed their families by singing Safety Songs, and voicing answers to these questions . . .
- What do you do in an earthquake? Drop, Cover, and Hold on.
- What should you do before you cross the street? STOP at curb, LOOK left/right, WAIT, LISTEN.
- What should you always do when you ride a bike? Wear a helmet, kneepads, and elbow pads.
- What should you always do when you ride in a car? Buckle your seat belt and don’t bother mom or dad when they are driving.
- What number do you call in an emergency? Call 9-1-1.
- What would you do if there was a lot of smoke in your room? Stop, drop and crawl real low.
Annually, the Santa Clarita Optimist Foundation and co-sponsor, the Santa Clarita Automobile Dealers Association offer two Safety Town camps, held in July at North Park Elementary School. Credentialed teachers and trained youth volunteers, taught over 80 children how to safely cross the street and obey traffic signals while walking and while driving miniature cars, complete with safety belts. They practiced in a kid-size city, complete with buildings, streets, sidewalks, a signal, and street signs. The camp covered fire safety, dialing 9-1-1, earthquake and disaster safety, personal safety and stranger danger, and water, vehicle, passenger, playground, and bicycle safety. Safety-theme craft projects, songs, games, and role-playing reinforced the safe conduct rules the children learned.
Local safety professionals visited and gave demonstrations; they represented the Fire Department, Sheriff’s Department, American Red Cross, Santa Clarita Transit, Ekata Training Center, California Highway Patrol, City Crossing Guards and Lifeguards, and Guide Dogs of America.
Parents reported . . . “Safety Town was such a great time for my daughter and son. They learned a lot.” “Thank you for organizing such an amazing experience for our kids.” “The kids loved driving the cars and meeting the Safety Professionals.” “The teachers and the counselors were great – informed, very patient and kind.”
Our donors know that “Safety never takes a break” and we thank them ––– Galpin Subaru, Precision Hotel Interiors, Oakridge Landscape, Triple C Electric, Thrivent Financial, Bank of Santa Clarita, Gary’s Auto Collision Center, Corporate Benefit Marketing, A Royal Suite Home Furnishings, LA Dodgers, LA County Fire Department Foundation, and the City of Santa Clarita.
Following each graduation, free child fingerprinting and photo IDs were provided by Thrivent Financial. Parent education on child safety seats and free inspections were given by Karen Apolinario, CPST during the camps.
Watch for the 2018 Safety Town camp dates and applications at www.safetytownscv.com and https://www.facebook.com/safetytownscv. Camps fill up early.