March 05, 2008
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The City of Roswell is currently hosting Safety Town at Hembree Park through March 14. Safety Town is a national safety program for children between the ages of 4-6 years old. This program teaches life-saving lessons on stranger, traffic, pedestrian, fire, bicycle, bus, poison, water safety and more. Safety Town is a small village with child-size buildings, streets, traffic signals and stop signs where children learn by practice in a fun, exciting and memorable way. Bill Cosby is the National Safety Town Center Honorary Chairman.
Personal Safety includes: introduction to a Police Officer in uniform, gun safety, stranger danger, my body, 911 and emergencies and jail. Participants also experience the inside of a police car. Fire Safety includes the introduction to a Firefighter in full gear. The program teaches them the importance of the equipment and the safety it provides to a firefighter as they are trying to rescue the children or battle a fire. Other topics include Stop-Drop-And-Roll, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, house fire plans, fires in general and information on Fire Trucks.
On the Safety Town course, children learn pedestrian and driving safety in a fun environment. A "miniature City of Roswell" including City Hall, the police department, a recreation center and a fire station are set up. Local businesses support the program by building their own miniature businesses which make up the remainder of the "town." Participants learn to look both ways before crossing a street, watch for cars, read stop signs, speed limit signs, yield signs and street signs, walk on sidewalks, cross only at crosswalks and understand traffic signals as both pedestrians and drivers. Because their "vehicles" are Big Wheels, they also learn bicycle safety, the importance of helmets and staying on the right side of the road.
The program has a lasting effect on the children. Parents have mentioned their children now read the speed limit signs and ask them to slow down. Parents have also stated their children were no longer fearful of firefighters in full gear or policemen, and are more aware of their surroundings. "If we can save one child in Roswell from succumbing to any of these adversities, the many hours put into this two-week program is well worth it," explains Troline. To date, over 3500 children have participated in the program.
For more information on the 2008 Safety Town Program, please contact Katie Troline, Superintendent of Recreation at 770.594.6406 or at email@example.com.