December 18, 2014

Elyria
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Busing extends Safety Town access

Children without transportation get chance to attend summer program

ELYRIA — A new addition to the Elyria Police Department’s Safety Town program aims to make certain that every youngster in the city has a chance to attend.
Officer Wandra A. Ward, director of Safety Town, said the program has been largely unattended by children from the south side of the city because of transportation issues. But this year, First Student has agreed to transport students from the Westway Gardens, Wilkes Villa and South Park areas to Safety Town for the one-week course.
“We are very excited about including these little ones; it is such an important start to their bright futures,” Ward said in a new release.
The program, in its 49th session this summer, is designed to teach safety lessons to children entering kindergarten.
The course is set in a realistic, child-sized town which has working traffic signals, miniature buildings and crosswalks. Children on tractors provide a touch of realistic traffic in this tiny town built behind Northwood Junior High School on Gulf Road.
The backdrop helps to teach children when, where and how to cross the street as well as bike safety, pedestrian safety, school bus safety, fire safety, seatbelt safety, stranger danger and what to do if they find a gun.
It pairs together police officers, members of the community and older children who serve as volunteers.
“We always make it a fun week,” said Leah Weese, a sixth-grader at Crestwood Elementary School. “It’s cool to teach kids how to be safe around strangers, on the road and how to call 911 properly. You learn all the basic necessities of how to be safe.”
The 12-year-old youth volunteer started out as a Safety Town student when she was heading into kindergarten, and she said it really helped her learn how to feel just a little more independent. Now, she is happy to return the favor.
“I get to help the little kids like the bigger kids helped me,” she said.
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.

When is Safety Town?
9 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday from the weeks of June 18, June 25, July 9, July 16, July 23 and July 30.
How much?
Free for all Elyria residents and surrounding areas.
How can I sign up my child?
Registration cards are available at the school where your child will attend kindergarten. They are also available at the Elyria Police Department or by calling Denise at (440) 326-1222.