Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Back to School

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Back to School

Article excerpt

For several kindergartners in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, the usual tirst-day-of-school jitters were replaced with confidence. Why? Because this summer, they attended "Safety Town" camp, a five-day camp, hosted by the Monroeville Parks and Recreation Department. Designed to teach safety skills to children entering kindergarten, this program (http://nationalsafetytown.com/) has been around since 1937 when it was founded by police officer Frend Boals in Mansfield, Ohio.

"I've been offering the program since 2008," says JoAnne Morris, Monroeville's program and special events directorm "but I first learned about it when I registered my oldest son (who is now 34)."

In addition to learning important information they'll need to know if they were to ever get lost--their parent's names, telephone numbers and addresses; how to safely cross the street; understanding street signs and traffic lights; and avoiding "stranger danger"--each day, the children also learn about a specific safety area from a certified public safety official: police, fire, water, home and school bus safety. On school bus safety day the last day of the program, after listening to a school crossing guard about how to be safe while waiting for and getting on a school bus, the campers get to ride an actual school bus and take a short ride around the school complex. …

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