Third graders from East Ridge Elementary recently participated in activities at Abilene's Safety City. The Safety City program includes an educational facility featuring a "child-size" town of miniature buildings, streets, crosswalks, functional traffic lights, sidewalks, a working railroad crossing, and a school bus. A state-of-the-art fire education center opened in September 2009 that allows firefighters to teach home fire safety, and to fill a room with simulated smoke, allowing children to practice escape plans and gather at a designated meeting location. Construction on a "police" education building was completed in March 2011. This building houses a new classroom with stadium style seating and interactive learning tools.
Safety City's curriculum is designed to teach young people to recognize safety hazards found in everyday life and to learn to make wise choices when they are in situations which have the potential to cause them injury or harm. It is open to first and third grade school classes throughout the school year and to individuals, day care centers, recreation centers, church groups, etc. during the summer. Programs offered include bicycle safety, pedestrian safety, fire prevention, stranger awareness and our annual summer safety camp.