Last year’s safety awareness event for children was a success for Mike Almond. Not because nearly 80 children attended with their parents, but because the kids who came got the message.
“They all got it,” said the Superior man. “I think a lot of them took it and used it.” Almond, who helped coordinate the event, could tell the safety message stuck whenever he saw children walking in his neighborhood. Young people who used to be alone were now walking in pairs with friends. Even Almond’s own daughters changed their habits, choosing to walk side-by-side instead of trailing after each other.
The girls are already signed up for next week’s safety awareness event, which takes place from 2-4 p.m. April 17 at the Superior Public Library. The event is free and open to children in kindergarten through age 12. Parents must accompany their children.
New this year will be presentations from the Superior Fire Department, the literacy alliance and Almond himself, a member of the city’s Neighborhood Watch program.
“We’ve joined forces with several other pieces of the puzzle,” said Community Policing Officer Bonnie Beste with the Superior Police Department. She will give a presentation on stranger danger and safety; a representative from the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse will discuss ways our bodies signal that a situation is not safe and help children identify adults at home, school and in the neighborhood they could go to for help.
The event enhances child safety by providing kids with tools to use and signs to look out for, said Nora Fie with the Superior Public Library.
“I think it brings to the foreground that even in a community you might think is safe, there are dangers there,” she said.
In addition to the presentations, children will each receive a safety book and T-shirt as well as tickets for free bowling following the event. A light supper will be served at Landmark Lanes and parents can get identification kits complete with fingerprints for each child.
“If you came last year, come again,” Fie said. “You can never have too many refreshers. What (the kids) didn’t hear last time they might hear this time.” Or, said Almond, they might have forgotten.
“It’s important to have these discussions with your kids,” Beste said. “One time is not enough. Kids need to be reinforced to empower them so if the situation arises they know what to do and say to keep themselves safe.”
To sign up for the event, call the library at 715-394-8866 or email email@example.com.