Safety education starts early for Ohio students

By Jeremy P. Kelley
The Dayton Daily News

DAYTON, Ohio — Thirty-five incoming kindergarteners spent last week oohing and aahing over school buses, fire trucks and police officers at the annual Safetyville program at Sugarcreek Elementary School.

Local school and emergency officials hope the fiveday program is more than just fun, and some of the safety lessons stick as the children prepare to head to school in the fall.

"There's a theme for each day — Monday is traffic, then bus safety, fire safety, police safety, plus we'll talk about 911 and stranger danger," Bellbrook police Lt. Matt Savino said. "So by the time we're finished with this week, they'll have the tools to be ready for kindergarten, whether it's getting on the bus or knowing traffic and pedestrian laws."

Five-year-old Ava Falzerano said she loved driving the little cars on traffic safety day, and Luke Motil said his favorite was seeing an ambulance, complete with Bellbrook Fire Lt. Athena Robbins hooked up to a heart monitor to show how it worked.

Christy Phillips of the schools' PTO group said the highlight for many of the children was their first bus ride to Stephen Bell Elementary School, where they'll attend kindergarten in the fall.

Savino said enrollment in the Safetyville program was down from last year's 54 kids, but with plenty of student helpers from the school district's National Honor Society, the kids got lots of attention.

Copyright 2009 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

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