- Columbus City Schools
- The Office of Engagement
Safety City Empowers CCS Students with Life-Saving Skills
July 31, 2023 -- As the summer sun brightens, Columbus Fire and Community Risk Educator J. Sierra is ready to begin his lesson on the importance of fire safety.
Today's audience? A group of eager students participating in the Safety City program.
Sierra's lesson teaches children what to do in a fire emergency. From understanding fire alarms to identifying potentially dangerous hot objects.
"Fire education is a really important component in this program," said Sierra. "It allows children the opportunity to learn some basic fire saftey tips in the event of a fire and how to stay safe in their home."
Safety City, a collaboration between The City of Columbus Department of Neighborhoods and Nationwide Children's Hospital, are one-week, four-day sessions for students aged 5 to 7, teaching essential life-saving skills and firearm safety.
Through engaging activities and partnerships with organizations such as the Franklin County Sheriff and State Highway Patrol enforcement agencies, Safety City instills valuable lessons in fire, pedestrian, water, and bike safety while focusing on important social-emotional development.
Kicking off at Linden Park Early Childhood Education Center, this year’s Safety City programs were also held at Leawood Elementary School and the Hilltop YMCA.
"The kids are divided up into different groups, where they travel in their groups to different stations," said Katie Higgins, project manager of community wellness at Nationwide Children's. We're teaching them fire safety, objects that are safe to touch and not safe to touch, how to get out of a burning building, and how important it is to have a family escape plan."
Additionally, Safety City provides active learning and exciting exploration around a captivating safety village.
Students can engage in interactive scenarios that simulate real-life situations; the safety village serves as an immersive learning ground, teaching valuable lessons that children can carry throughout their lives.
"The goal would be to continue to grow and make this program a resource for all of the City of Columbus," said Young. "We want Safety City to be accessible to all families."
Safety City goes beyond traditional safety topics, addressing the health and wellness of students. In partnership with Columbus Public Health, the program includes lessons on sugary beverage awareness and the significance of staying hydrated during hot summer months.
“We’re teaching the kids the importance of staying hydrated, especially in the summer when it’s as hot as it’s been,” said Young.
As the program grows, Safety City's commitment to safety education empowers students to take control of their safety.
Young shares the major takeaway she hopes students and families will gain from participating in Safety City.
“I hope that the kids can retain what they learned and put what they’re learning into practice and feel comfortable with that,” said Young. “I want them to feel empowered in their safety and wellbeing.”