Students are getting ready to go back to school next week and DRP’s Cst. Astrid Morse is also getting ready to go back to class!
Cst. Morse is the Kids’ Safety Village Coordinator. DRP’s Kids Safety Village, established in 1995 and located at 1129 Athol St. in Whitby, is a kid-sized version of a real town used to teach Durham students about safety.
Cst. Morse teaches three Grade 1, 2 or 3 classes every day – that’s about 100 students! Kids are given a 45-minute lesson by Cst. Morse and then they practice what they were just taught in the village on mini-Jeeps or bicycles. The village looks just like the streets that children use on an everyday basis in Durham Region. Pedestrian and traffic lights guide the children through the village. They also must be cautious of railway crossings and road signs.
In the classroom, students also learn about stranger danger and who they should trust like police officers and teachers. They also learn how to call 911 and when is an appropriate time to call.
“Every year 15,000 kids come through the village and it is my hope that we send them home with the knowledge to keep them safe. We have received positive feedback on our 911 program; children have cooperated with operators and took all the right steps dealing with the emergency,” says Cst. Morse, Safety Village Coordinator. “The aim of the programs is to make it fun so the children remember the lessons learned while being here. I enjoy hearing that kids are going home and telling their parents all the safety rules they learned. I know then the classes are working.”
Schools are not charged to attend classes and all weekend and special holiday events are free for families. If you are a teacher who is interested in booking your class to visit the Village, click here!
There are many opportunities for people to get involved with the Safety Village. It relies on co-operative education students, volunteers and donations to keep the programs running. High school students can earn volunteer hours at the Village. To find out more about ways you can help, please call (905) 579-1520 ext. 4804 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to learn even more about the Kids’ Safety Village!
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Streets of the Kids' Safety Village (JPG file, 104.5K bytes)
Cst. Astrid Morse (JPG file, 189.6K bytes)
Cst. Astrid Morse at this summer's Bicycle Fun & Safety Day (JPG file, 398.4K bytes)