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Safety City in Lexington Teaches Young Kids Street Smarts

Children participating in a Safety City exercise

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - About 8,000 kids die of accidental deaths every year in the U.S. Safety City is a small city inside Lexington meant to help lower the number of accidental deaths in the area.

"It's amazing how many kids don't know how to cross the street safely," said Safety City Director Donna Armstrong. "They don't know to look the right way, and to take precautions and really protect themselves," she said. 

The miniature city off Harry Sykes Way in Lexington has been around since the 1990s. Second Grade Teacher Vickie Russo has been bringing her classes here for years. 

"They love that it's modeled after Lexington because it's home," she said. 

"You can talk about safety all you want and if you don't implement it and practice it, then it's not going to leave that much of an impression," Russo explained.

Safety City is a safety education program designed specifically for kids in second grade. The miniature streets and buildings are run through a partnership with Lexington Police, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and Eastern Kentucky University. The day-long class explores a lot of safety concerns for kids, from crossing streets correctly to how to deal with a railroad crossing. 

"So those are life-long skills that they can build on," said Armstrong. 

The program is booked up all school year, with about 3600 kids taking the class. Armstrong said, "I get a lot of comments like, 'I wish my 16-year-old would have had this before they started driving."

Russo recalled of the many classes she's brought through Safety City, "They always remember Safety City and what they learned here."

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Published on October 08, 2018

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