GALION — Although Safety Town is geared toward teaching young children many aspects on how to keep safe, this week’s program atGalion Primary School has many ways of keeping learning fun and kids entertained.
Safety Town is for children entering kindergarten this school year and offers up information and activities from traffic to fire safety.
“Typically Safety Town nationwide is for the kindergarteners,” said Galion Police Chief Brian Saterfield. “It’s right when they’re getting education about going to school, so this is a good time on teaching them how to cross the street, teaching them about bicycle safety and fire safety.
“The other nice thing I like about this is we hold it at the primary school, so it’s at the school they are going to come to. They are very comfortable now. They know where they are going and now where the cafeteria is and where the kindergarten room is. That way when they come to school they will know where to go.”
A lot of people make Galion Safety Town possible.
“This is a co-sponsorship between the Galion Police Department, and the Galion Fire Department, but the Galion Elks is the main supporter for this,” Saterfield said. “For four years we’ve gotten a grant from the Galion Elks. There’s a $2,500 grant that we utilize. Over the years the grant has paid for the bicycle helmets, it’s paid for the backpacks the kids get, and this year we used the grant to pay for the railroad crossing sign and the traffic signals because we’ve borrowed the traffic signals from Shelby in the past. Now we have our own. And the Elks also pays for their snacks every day and a couple years ago we used the grant to purchase the bikes. It’s just a good partnership between the Elks and the police department.”
Saterfield said 60 children were signed up for Safety Town this year and all get to keep the bicycle helmets and Safety Town backpacks.
“Safety Town is important to hold because first and foremost, it is teaching them about safety and a number of different things,” Saterfield noted. “It’s about bike safety. It’s about traffic safety and about fire safety. We’re also bringing in the health department and they are going to talk to them about personal hygiene and Buckle Bear is coming in to do the seat belt program and why it’s important to use seat belts.”
Other topics include “stranger danger” and “be a buddy not a bully.”
“It’s important to get them oriented into what is expected and make an impression now,” Saterfield added. “They get to meet a police officer, and a lot kids have never seen a police officer up close or talked to one. We want to make sure the kids feel comfortable coming up and talking to us.
“Ralph Burwell is our school resource officer and he’s here this week so the kids get familiar with him too because they are going to see him all the time. He’s a big part of this a getting things organized.”
Saterfield said Safety Town include traffic safety, where they talk about the railroad crossing signals and traffic signals. They also talk about how to cross the road safely and not run into the road, as well as to look both ways before crossing the street.
“We also are doing bus safety,” he explained. “They get to get on a school bus and take a ride and talk to the head of the bus garage about bus safety, because a lot of these kids are going to be taking a bus to school.
“We’re also doing fire safety, with the smoke house and we have the fire truck and an ambulance here for them to look at and learn about . They actually get to spray the fire hose.”
Safety Town wraps up Thursday with a special graduation ceremony for all the children.