Nearly 200 children will graduate tomorrow from the 39th class of Upper Arlington's Safety Town.

Nearly 200 children will graduate tomorrow from the 39th class of Upper Arlington's Safety Town.

For the past two weeks, participating five- and six-year-olds have learned everything from water and bike safety to the proper way to ride a school bus.

Upper Arlington Police Officer Heather Galli, who is in charge of community relations and crime prevention for the police department, has run the program for the last two years and said it a great way to teach young children how to be safe.

"It's a phenomenal opportunity," she said. "It's such a worthwhile program."

The six teachers and their classroom assistants touch on a different theme each day of the program.

Earlier this week, students learned about school bus and seatbelt safety, stranger awareness, animal safety and control and water safety. They watched videos, heard from visitors on the different subjects and rode tricycles outside in the miniature village, Galli said.

"We think it's important to have them have exposure to all of these topics," she said.

She said one of the biggest lessons is to teach students that police officers are there to help them.

"We show that the police officer is their friend," Galli said.

Safety Town, which is being held at Greensview Elementary this summer, is split into morning and afternoon groups, which meet from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m.

Galli said spots still are open for the afternoon group of the next Safety Town session, which begins Monday, July 12, and runs through Friday, July 23.

Those interested in participating should contact the police department at 583-5150. The class costs $70 for residents and $85 for non-residents.

In addition to teaching important safety information to young children, Galli said Safety Town also helps to acclimate the students to being in a classroom setting.

Many of the students will attend kindergarten in the fall.

Carol Greene, a kindergarten teacher at Clintonville Academy, has been teaching at the city's Safety Town for more than 15 years.

She said she encourages families from her school to send children to Safety Town because she sees a huge difference in students who have attended safety town at the beginning of each school year.

"I see the total benefit of them coming here," she said.

gmartineau@thisweeknews.com

Twitter:@GailMartineau