LAURINBURG — Scotland County Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and the United Way of Scotland County joined forces for the second consecutive year to offer the recent Safety Town.
Safety Town is a one-week, 20-hour program that teaches basic safety lessons to youth ages 4 to 8. Utilizing the 4-H, “learn by doing” motto, the youth enjoyed hands-on opportunities to learn ways to keep safe and prevent injury.
In 2016, Safety Town nearly doubled the enrollment from the previous year. Of the 59 youth in attendance, 48 received a graduation certificate for completing the program this year.
During the week, numerous Scotland County departments, agencies and volunteers donated their time and expertise to Safety Town. The Scotland County Humane Society, along with their mascot, Miles, educated the youth on animal safety including how to approach an animal, especially one that is unfamiliar. Walmart’s Operation Lifesaver program addressed the importance of train safety, such as avoiding playing on or near train tracks. The Laurinburg Police Department identified traffic safety tips, as well as discussed stranger danger and gun safety. In addition, the youth were visited by two K-9 officers and their dogs to learn their roles in the community.
The Laurinburg Fire Department brought the fire house, allowing youth to learn about drop, cover your eyes and roll, and other proper safe procedures to do in the case of a fire.
Scotland County Schools’ bus driver, Zach McNeill used a school bus to teach the youth how to properly load a bus, the dos and don’ts of walking in front of the bus, how to exit the bus in case of an emergency, and other safety tips to follow when riding the bus. The youth were given the opportunity to practice the lesson by loading the bus and taking a ride around town.
The Scotland County Sheriff’s Department visited to reiterate the importance of avoiding guns and strangers. The Eddie Eagle video was shared that instructed the youth “to stop, don’t touch, run away and tell a grown up”, should they find a gun.
In addition, the youth made emergency bracelets with their phone numbers in case of an emergency or if they get lost. In addition, to the bracelet, the youth made ouch pouches, a first aid kit wrapped in fabric of the “Paw Patrol”.
Each day the participants practiced the safe way to cross the street and how to recognize safety road signs. In addition, the youth rode big wheels, tricycles and bicycles to practice their skills while driving through “safety town”. The youth were careful to stop at railroad crossings and stop signs.