April 9, 2003 | By: Laura Skillman
HOPKINSVILLE, Ky.

Elementary students in Christian County may be better equipped to escape a burning house or know how to be safe around electricity thanks to an annual safety days program.

The Christian County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service conducts the two-day safety program. This is the fifth year for the program that was a joint venture in the first year with the Safe Kids Coalition.

“It was a one shot deal and we thought it was a good program, so we restructured it a little bit and took it on,” said Jay Stone, Christian County Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources.

Safety days is held for all the fifth graders in the county and includes such topics as staying home alone in the afternoons, fire safety, firearms safety, all-terrain vehicle safety, first aid, and electrical safety, he said.

“As we’ve gone through the years, it has been very well received,” Stone said.

The speakers are representatives of local agencies as well as volunteers.

Allison Davie, a 4-H shooting sports participant, was the volunteer firearms safety speaker.

“I wanted to this because I like to volunteer and it’s fun and gives me hours I need for school,” she said. Also, I get to work with kids and improve my speaking abilities.”         

Highland Elementary teacher Terry Long has been bringing students to the event every year and said it teaches them a lot about safety around the home, the farm and their neighborhoods.

“I think it’s a good program,” he said. “It has a lot of hands on activities. Plus, it helps us teach our core content and reinforces what we do in the classroom.”

Jamie Folz, a fourth-grade teacher from Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School attending her first safety day, said it was a worthwhile program.

“They learned quite a few tips in home alone and electrical safety as well as in first aid, gun safety and different facets that they’ve never been exposed to,” she said. “I think it’s a great thing and they are the right age.”

Anteneshia Sanders, 11, said she and her fellow students were learning about how to be safe around things that are heavy and kind of dangerous.

“I’ve learned the most from fire safety today,” she said, not long after emerging from a simulated house fire. “We learned how to crawl and stay down through smoke and how to listen for the fire alarm when you think you smell something and how to climb out the window and down a ladder. I think this is something other children should go through because everyone should know about fire safety.”