Volunteers enjoy helping children at Safety City

| August 7, 2017

Emma McMillan, Lennon Thompkins and Easton Tipton practiced riding around the miniature city set up as part of Safety City. The exercise teaches them about traffic signs, stop lights and crosswalks. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Trevor Cooper believes children learn important lessons at Safety City that can help them with everyday life.

“I’m glad I went through Safety City because now that I’m 17 and a driver I think it helped me with paying attention to signs and the road a lot more,” he said.

Cooper was one of several volunteers who helped out at Safety City, which was held Aug. 2-10 (weekdays only) at the Coshocton County Fairgrounds. The Red Cross program is funded by United Way and is geared toward children entering kindergarten.

The children learn a variety of safety lessons throughout their seven days at Safety City including information on poisons and when to call 911 and who might respond to their calls.

On Aug. 4 they met EMTs Blaine Schooley and Jen LaVigne.

“We want them to understand that we are not scary and we are here to help,” Schooley said. “We also want to help them recognize things like when to call 911, what a poison is and what could possibly be a poison.”

LaVigne has been to safety city numerous times to help educate the youngsters.

“Their answers to questions can be pretty entertaining at times, but they are also pretty smart,” she said. “They know how to call 911 and some of them know their phone numbers.”

This year the children had a few new speakers to learn valuable lessons from. Representatives from First Step Family Violence Service, Inc., Columbus Gas and Digger Dog, taught the students about the dangers of smelling gas, Frontier Power, came to share about downed power lines safety, a long time water safety instructor spoke about swimming safety and the children heard from alarm company ADT. Sher Alloway, local Red Cross volunteer, said they also received assistance from the Warsaw Lions Club who provided a projector and table to use for gun safety lessons.

Thirty-nine children were enrolled in the program and Cooper wasn’t the only member of his family who volunteered at Safety City.

“My mother-in-law got me into this,” said Tonya Cooper, Trevor’s mother. “All four of my children went through safety city and all of them volunteered. It teaches them about safety and what to look for so they stay safe.”

Her mother-in-law Martha Bradford still volunteers for Safety City.

“All six of my grandchildren went through this and my daughter volunteered as a teen and now teaches,” Bradford said.

Trevor said this is his sixth or seventh year helping at Safety City.

“I really like watching the kids improve from day one to the end,” he said.

 

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    Josie Sellers

    About the Author ()

    I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!