For two weeks every June, a small enclave forms in Grandview Heights.

The inhabitants call their community Safetyview Heights.

It's the annual safety education program presented by the Grandview Heights Parks and Recreation Department for local children who are entering kindergarten or first grade.

"We're teaching the children the fundamental lessons of being safe at their homes, at school and when they're out riding their bike or at play," said Carrie Williams, who leads the program with Carrie O'Mara.

Safetyview Heights, population 45 youngsters, met for two hours each weekday, June 3-14, at McKinley Field Park in Grandview.

The emphasis is on fun in teaching children the fundamentals of being safe, Williams said.

"We use songs, stories and lots of hands-on activities so that the children are having so much fun, they don't even know they're learning," she said. "We'll say, 'Let's talk about knowing your phone number and address,' but we don't let on that it's a lesson."

Memorizing their phone number and address and being able to recognize those important numbers by sight are major focuses of Safetyview Heights, Williams said.

"It's not enough for them to be able to recite their phone number," she said. "They need to recognize the numbers so they can dial it themselves if they need to."

The campers practiced dialing their home number using a mock phone keypad, Williams said.

Some youngsters even need help remembering their name, she said.

"That's one of the things we've started to work on with them at Safetyview Heights," Williams said. "I work as a substitute teacher during the school year, and I noticed that some small children, when you ask them what their name is, they're not sure what to say."

Along with fire, pedestrian, swimming and bike safety, Safetyview Heights also helps children understand that police officers and firefighters are their friends.

"When we invite a police officer to visit or the fire department brings a fire truck, we spend time honoring our first responders," Williams said. "It's important the children know they are there to help them."

The students who participated in the program were divided into teams -- red, yellow and green, matching the colors of a traffic light -- that started each day's session meeting with camp counselors.

"We had 35 counselors this year, almost one for every camper," Williams said. "In the past we've had middle school students as counselors, but now we have high school students and some college students because we feel like they know more about how to take responsibility and serve as a leader."

Some of the counselors who are now college students have served in the role since they were in middle school, she said.

One of them is Leighton Williams, a freshman at Ohio State and Carrie's son.

"It's a great feeling to help the children learn about how to be safe," he said. "You're trying to be a friend to them. Sometimes a child will come at the start of the day and they're a little scared and crying. We try to make it fun for them and by the end of the day, they don't want to go home."

Grandview Heights High School sophomore Keaton Carpenter said he can see the children grow as individuals over the course of the camp.

"They get more confident as each day goes by," he said. "It's just important to teach them lessons about how to be safe. I see a lot of myself at their age in them."

Safetyview Heights ended June 14 with the 45 youngsters participating in a graduation ceremony. Each child wore a "stop, drop and roll" crown as they received their diploma and were presented a Safetyview Heights T-shirt to take home.

"The graduation is always a really big deal for the children," Williams said. "It's quite an accomplishment for them."

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