Little Town, Big Lessons
On a sunny day in July, the scaled-down streets of the Children’s Safety Village are filled with kids learning about fire and traffic safety. The village is complete with streets, buildings, power lines and a pond—all scaled down to a kid-friendly size to better engage and teach safety aspects. A donated school bus is also on-site to teach kids how to be safe around buses and to ensure the driver can see them. Led by Major Mike Fitzgerald, the kids seem to just be playing in the mini town, but while walking around the buildings, they learn when it’s safe to cross the street—after looking left, right and left again—and why it’s important to look both ways before stepping off the curb.
When it comes to teaching our children to be safe, involvement is the best way to get that lesson to stick. According to Mike Barnes, Edmond Fire Department’s Chief of Fire Prevention, participation is the driving force behind the Children’s Safety Village.
The Children’s Safety Village opened in 2010 when Major Fitzgerald pitched the idea to his chief, based on a similar venue he’d seen in the past, where children came to learn hands-on safety lessons about personal safety. The lessons