SCV’s Safety Town looks for votes to help win $25,000 grant

Safety Town 2017. Courtesy photo

A Santa Clarita Valley community project that offers safety education for young children is looking for the public to vote for them for a chance to win $25,000.

Safety Town — Santa Clarita Valley has entered in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist program, competing alongside 200 other projects nationwide for the grant funds.

Based on votes, the insurance company will choose 40 out of all organizations that entered to each receive $25,000.

The purpose, according to the Neighborhood Assist website, is to help fund projects in education, safety and community development.

Safety Town, whose organization is the Santa Clarita Optimist Foundation, is a five-day safety education project for children en route to kindergarten. California-accredited educators teach children essential safety skills through repetitive and interactive instructional play.

The camp, held this year at Charles Helmers Elementary School, is transformed into a miniature city with traffic lights, street and stop signs, crosswalks and streets built to the scale of small kids. There they learn how to safely cross a street and to wear seatbelts while driving miniature vehicles.

According to Safety Town’s Neighborhood Assist entry, the project meets the safety needs of only 120 youth per year. With funds, SCOF hopes to increase that by offering an additional week to serve 40 more children and bring 20 youth counselors-in-training on board. Additional funds are said to go toward other matters such as rent and insurance of the facility where the camp is held, staff stipends and educational materials.

As of Wednesday morning, Safety Town — Santa Clarita stood in 129th place, according to the online Neighborhood Assist leaderboard, which refreshes every 10 minutes.

To vote, visit the Neighborhood Assist website. Each voter receives 10 votes a day, which can all go toward the same cause or multiple causes, until Friday, Aug. 24.

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