Parkersburg Boys and Girls Club holds Safety Town event

Photo by Michael Erb Second-grader Kameron Sims rides a bike through a simulated city Friday at the Parkersburg Boys and Girls Club as part of Safety Town EXTREME, which brings summer safety lessons to students ages 6-18.

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg Boys and Girls Club held its first “Safety Town EXTREME” Friday, bringing safety reminders and tips to a wide range of children.

The event was for club members ages 6-18 and officials say it was a refresher to the lessons taught to younger children in the traditional Safety Town programs, like how to watch for traffic crossing the street, as well as lessons for older youth, such as online safety.

Jacob Filozof, an intern through the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation Civic Leaders Fellows Program, helped coordinate the event and said summer is an important time to reinforce those lessons.

“Safety doesn’t end when you leave school,” he said.

The club has been averaging 200 youth a day this summer, and Filozof said the Safety Town EXTREME event provided the chance to reach a wide range of youths.

Photo by Michael Erb First-grader Kianna Kinnaird, right, speaks to Parkersburg Fire Department Pvt. Kevin Ackerman about fire safety during Friday’s Safety Town EXTREME at the Parkersburg Boys and Girls Club.

“We had an opportunity and we took it,” he said.

Cyndi Auth, director of programs for the club, said the event brings “critical safety information to youth in a fun and interactive way. Taking a step out of the traditional Safety Town program geared towards the needs of kindergarten age students, this event is designed for youth of all school ages.”

Auth said some of the activities originally were planned for outside, but rising temperatures and statewide heat warnings caused the various stations to be moved indoors.

The event included presentations on animal safety from the Humane Society of Parkersburg, kitchen safety with the Wood County WVU Extension Service, fire prevention and safety with the Parkersburg Fire Department, and water and internet safety with club staff.

Parkersburg Fire Department Pvt. Kevin Ackerman said officials also were taking the opportunity to speak with students about the need for smoke detectors. The fire department offers free smoke detectors and installation for homes, and those interested can contact the Parkersburg Fire Department for more information, he said.

Photo by Michael Erb Parkersburg Fire Department Pvt. Wesley Riffle talks about fire safety during Friday’s Safety Town EXTREME at the Parkersburg Boys and Girls Club.

High school and middle school members also had the opportunity to participate in a discussion on healthy and safe relationships and suicide prevention facilitated by Westbrook Health Services.

Club members also had the opportunity to win prizes donated by Five Below in Vienna by playing games on a variety of safety topics, including viruses and germs, electrical safety, UPS Road Code, home safety plans, dangers of pills and poisons, and sports and playground safety. The games were facilitated by the Foundation Fellows.

Other healthy living stations included Rethink Your Drink and Hand Washing Station through partnership with Wood County WVU Extension, dental health, nutrition, and substance abuse prevention.

Michael Erb can be reached at merb@newsandsentinel.com

Photo by Michael Erb Matt Peters with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation Civic Leaders Fellows Program talks to students about healthy drink choices during Friday’s Safety Town EXTREME at the Parkersburg Boys and Girls Club.

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