If you are a parent, you know how important it is to teach our children how to navigate this potentially dangerous world as safely as possible.
We at the New Albany Police Department want to do all that we can to assist you in your efforts to protect your children. That is why the New Albany Police Department once again will hold Safety Town Camp and Graduate Camp in June.
Safety Town launched in 2004 with the support of KeyBank and the New Albany Women's Network through the New Albany Community Foundation. As the program now enters its 17th year, we are proud to say that we have graduated more than 5,500 children and have given them a strong foundation of learning to put safety first.
Safety Town is a safety educational camp held each summer for children entering kindergarten or first grade in the upcoming school year. All lessons are taught by state-certified teachers, New Albany police officers and Plain Township Fire Department firefighters, along with teen volunteers, subject-matter experts and community partners.
Over the course of two weeks, the children learn 10 safety topics, including bike and helmet safety, pedestrian safety, school-bus safety, fire prevention, water safety and more.
Stories, games, songs, videos and books help reinforce the safety skills being taught each day in the classroom. The children also take field trips to the police station and fire department.
We introduced Graduate Camp in 2016 as a result of nearly 20% of the Safety Town campers requesting to enroll for a second year. Graduate Camp was designed as a four-day camp to provide more in-depth education on key safety topics relative to school-age children.
Just like Safety Town, Gradate Camp is taught by state-certified teachers, New Albany police officers and Plain Township firefighters.
Both Safety Town and Graduate Camp enjoy continued success thanks to our sponsors and partnerships. The New Albany-Plain Local School District has been a key partner for us since the beginning. Through our partnership, the school district provides use of the buildings, technology and transportation that make the camps possible.
Safety Town and Graduate Camp are open to both New Albany residents and nonresidents at a cost of $85. The cost covers all classroom materials and, depending on the camp, includes such items as a bike helmet, a bike light, a reusable water bottle, a T-shirt and field-trip transportation.
This year, Safety Town runs June 8 to 18, with parents having the option of selecting either the morning session or afternoon session, while spots are available. Graduate Camp is offered only in the mornings from June 22 to 25.
Registration for both camps opened online March 7 and runs through April 4.
Learn more about the camps, register and view a list of our generous sponsors at newalbanysafetytown.org.
Greg Jones is chief of the New Albany Police Department.