HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – It’s a staple in the community that’s been making a difference for generations: Safety Town. The safest little city in Huntington celebrated those who have donated their time and money to make a number of renovations possible.
Second-grade students from Barboursville Elementary joined the celebration Friday morning.
“We went over bike safety. We went over car safety,” one student said.
The celebration comes from the safety of its pint-sized citizens getting that much stronger. Thanks to volunteers and donors the little town has newly constructed buildings, news signs, even new wheels. This is the place that a kid remembers forever. Where they learn how to make good decisions when face with things like traffic lights and intersections. They even get to be junior firefighters.
Before the renovations, it was very difficult for kids with disabilities to participate in Safety Town. Thanks to tens of thousand of dollars in donations they were able to buy two special go-carts made specifically for children with disabilities.
This learning experience teaches thousands of kids every year, but it’s more than basic safety here. Kids learn about drug awareness, who trusted adults are, and they also learn to memorize their address.
Safety Town coordinator and former Huntington Police Officer, Vernon Casey, says kids pick up on it quickly.
“How in tune they are with what’s going on around them,” Casey said. “They really, they’re a lot smarter than you think.”
Vernon recalls teaching a girl her address and how to call 911, and the very day he taught he says something happened.
“Grandma is unloading groceries into the kitchen and the little girl goes in her room and comes back and grandma has a heart attack on the kitchen floor. True story,” Casey said. “The little girl picks up the phone…”
Vernon says she called 911 and gave them her address, saving her grandmother’s life.
From Safety Town, to someone’s home, the lessons learned here can last a lifetime.