Overview Safety Town
During the summer of 1988 and every year since, the Mahwah Public Schools has conducted the nationally-recognized Safety Town for incoming kindergarten students. This is a program which introduces children to all aspects of safety. Included are topics on how to stay safe on the bus, at home, and at the pool, to name just a few. In addition, the campers experience an outstanding opportunity to socialize with their future classmates!
Each day, villages are set up to represent actual towns with an emphasis on community. Student volunteers, under the direction of early childhood teachers, assist the youngsters as they learn the skills and concepts of being smart and safe within their town. Each aspect of safety is taught at the appropriate level to maximize understanding. "Fun" activities help reinforce learning.
Unique to the program is the cooperation of local organizations and agencies. Otto, the talking car from AAA, visits Safety Town annually. He teaches the children to respect vehicles and how to safely cross the street. On this day, the Mahwah Police Department assigns an officer to visit and interact with the children. They are taught about seatbelt safety and 911. The students learn that police officers are friendly people and should not be afraid of them.
Representatives of the Fire Department bring a real fire truck to Safety Town. They provide live demonstrations showing how fires are started, reported, and extinguished. Literature is distributed which serves as a discussion starter when the children go home at the end of the session.
Members of the volunteer Ambulance Corps also teach in Safety Town. They demonstrate proper first aid procedures and methods used to care for injured persons. The children have the opportunity to see the interior of an ambulance with the idea it should not be frightening if it is needed to help someone.
Numerous other agencies send representatives to speak and provide demonstrations, such as animal safety and playground safety. An annual trip to the town pool to learn about water safety and bus safety is always a big hit as well! The teachers and volunteers work on projects designed to reinforce the concepts being learned. As follow up, the district's kindergarten teachers review safety concepts learned in the program, when school begins each fall.
The school district is proud to sponsor Safety Town. We consider it an integral part of our program.