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The Suburbanite
  • Summer fun heart of Safety Village lessons

  • About 150 kids participated in learning police, fire and water safety tips during Jackson Township's Safey Village.

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  • What’s a good way to teach first- and second-graders how to stay safe during the summer and throughout the year? Send them to Jackson Township’s Safety Village. This year, the program was held this week at Sauder Elementary School.
    About 150 kids participated in learning police, fire and water safety tips. The first day was all about police safety with information about why it’s important for children to know their name and address, practice calling 911, learn how to yell “stranger danger” when approached by a stranger and why it’s important to wear seat belts.
    “We also have someone coming in today to teach the kids about pool and swimming safety,” said Molly Ott, director of Safety Village.
    Tuesday, the lessons were about fire safety. The kids got to take a look at many of the fire and safety vehicles from the Jackson Township Fire Department.
    Wednesday was picture day, and the kids learned about bus and bike safety. Thursday was water safety day. A boat was setup outside the school, and the kids were taken aboard in groups to learn about life jacket and boat safety.
    The last day of the week was reserved for a graduation ceremony with the parents.
    A celebration was held afterward with hot dogs and snacks.
    The safety village was set up in the gym every day during the week.  Kids drove carts and learned how to stop at stop lights and signs and about stopping at railroad tracks.
    “Safety village is a good way to get the kids involved with the community and to teach much-needed safety rules,” Ott said.
    Jackson Safety Village is a joint effort between the police and fire departments. Ott said she sees many of the children out in the community after Safety Village week.
    “When I see the kids out in the community, they run up and ask if I remember them from Safety Village week,” Ott said. “It’s great to see them around the area, and it’s great to see so many faces come back. I’m one of those returning faces. I’ve been volunteering with Safety Village since I was 11 years old.”
    Ott also said that she became director six years ago and took it over from Marilyn Jones, who planned, organized and directed the Safety Village for 17 years. Ott worked closely with Jones over the years and was asked to become the next director.
    “Marilyn passed away shortly after Safety Village ended last year,” Ott said. “I think she wanted to be around for graduation.”