By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — A group of 20 4- to 6-year-olds sit inside Howard Elementary School, 1611 York St., eagerly waiting for their special guest as part of the Safety Town program.
The guests June 22 included two Dearborn police officers who were introduced to the children by the talking Officer Buckle Bear in a mini-motorized police car.
Cpl. Chad Hanson and Cpl. Jeremy Krakowski were in attendance to educate the group about bicycle safety, weapon safety, stranger danger and officer identification.
Students learned to run away and call for help if a person they don’t recognize attempts to speak to them, and also not to touch a weapon and seek help if they encounter one.
Hanson also emphasized the importance of education as many of the children will be entering school in the fall, telling them to, “do well and show respect to their teachers.”
Following the session each child in the group was given a junior police badge sticker symbolizing what they learned.
“I love working with the kids because they are so fun and happy to see us,” Dearborn Police Explorer and intern Joya Kharroubi said.
The group then headed outside to look at the inside of patrol vehicles and complete a safety course with bicycles.
Dearborn Outer Drive Kiwanis Club hosted the annual program which costs $35 per child and provides animal and pet safety, police and fire safety, and electrical safety during the two weeks.
“We have great sponsors and partners who make the program possible year after year,” DOD Kiwanis Club member Peg Pedenelli said. “It’s great for the children to connect with older peers and learn through the lessons.”
The program first began 20 years ago when the Dearborn High School Key Club proposed the idea to the board of education.
For more information go to www.dodkiwanis.org.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)