Optimists honor 2020 Saugus grads with ‘Safety Town Counselor-in-Training Scholarships’

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News release

The Santa Clarita Optimist Foundation and Canyon Country Optimist Club are proud to announce the honorees of the Safety Town Counselor-in-training (CIT) Scholarship 2020 for their dedicated volunteer work and academic success. 

Adam White and David White have served as CITs each summer since the opening of Safety Town – Santa Clarita in 2015. They graduated from Saugus High School in June. Adam and David have exemplified the characteristics and skills of effective CITs — respect, responsibility, leadership, commitment, integrity and enthusiasm. On Aug. 5, they were each awarded a $750 scholarship from Susan Russell, executive director, Safety Town. 

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the 2020 Safety Town camps were postponed to 2021. The first scholarship in 2019 was awarded to Angela Kim, a graduate of Valencia High School.

Safety Town is a one-week, three-and-a-half-hour-per-day, safety education summer program for young children (4 1⁄2 to 6 years of age) held at a local elementary school in the Santa Clarita Valley. Safety awareness is introduced to children in an age-appropriate, fun and secure environment. Through group lessons, guest visits from local community safety professionals, songs, lessons, crafts and pedestrian/driver-role play, the program teaches children to evaluate “safe” from “unsafe” situations.

At Safety Town, young children develop, practice and reinforce basic safety habits and rules under the guidance of a California-credentialed teacher, a safety education specialist, and trained youth volunteers (CITs). Children learn lessons from daily visits by local community safety professionals representing the L.A. County Fire and Sheriff’s departments, American Red Cross, the city of Santa Clarita –– crossing guards, lifeguards, city transit, Guide Dogs of America, Ekata Training Center and more. The Safety Town community is complete with child-size buildings, street signs, crosswalks, sidewalks, traffic lights and small pedal cars with seatbelts.

CITs are a critical component of the success of Safety Town as they assist the teachers in the instruction of the young children. They model safety rules, concepts and classroom behaviors as well as monitor the safety of the children in their charge. CITs aid with the assessment of the children’s learned knowledge and skills and share the results with parents to help them reinforce the knowledge and skills their children learned during the camp.

Russell said, “We are pleased to honor Adam and David as it will help them in their higher education pursuits. In the fall, Adam will attend UC Berkeley and plans to become a pediatric surgeon, and David will attend UC Davis and study economics. David said he plans to help establish community nonprofit organizations – like Safety Town. They have both demonstrated our Optimist goal – to help bring out the best in kids!”

Safety Town is a one-week, three-and-a-half-hour-per-day, safety education summer program for young children (4 1⁄2 to 6 years of age) held at a local elementary school in the Santa Clarita Valley. Courtesy photo.

For more information about Safety Town, go to www.SafetyTownSCV.com, or to learn about the Santa Clarita Optimist Foundation, a charitable organization (501.[c][3], go to www.SantaClaritaOptimistFoundation.org. 

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