This morning I had the pleasure of witnessing our Safety City graduation at Wilson Hill Elementary. “Safety City marks the right of passage for many children ages four and five living in Worthington. These four and five-year old pedestrians are taking it to the streets of downtown Old Worthington, that is, a replica of the town, so that they can learn about street safety when walking or riding their bikes. Safety City is a two-hour class for two weeks offered every summer. Through this program children also learn about many other safety issues such as poison, water, personal and fire safety.”
Safety City is not a program of Worthington Schools but instead is run at a Worthington school by the Community Center. http://www.worthington.org/index.aspx?nid=209
From a school district perspective Safety City provides a snapshot of our in-coming kindergarten class. Most students participating over the last two weeks will begin kindergarten in Worthington this August. This is one of their first opportunities to be together as a group. If you blink you may see these same students walking across the stage as a class graduating from high school. (Safety City pictures are very popular on the graduation party circuit and thus many moms and dads were in full photographer mode at graduation. For my poor daughter pictured above, she’s number 3, I took a dark picture with an old iPhone.)
As a dad this is my third Safety City graduation. I can still picture my oldest daughter in her dress, pig-tails in her hair, getting her fireman’s helmet and standing next to boys playing with sticks. That group of kids has now lost baby teeth and gained permanent teeth, many have braces and have passed Ohio Achievement Assessments. Time moves very quickly.
It’s summer, not yet the 4th of July, and another group of students has graduated from Safety City. There are another 6 or 7 weeks left for these students to play at the pool before school begins. Soon they will be the class of 2025.