Bob Crandall, Matt Sauers and Ken Schultz knew for sure they’d had a good day when they were presented with a thank-you card as they left Renaissance Academy Charter School of the Arts. In their card, the first-grade class of Mrs. King and Mrs. Washington assured the trainers: “We will play safe!”
They’d spent the day teaching every K-2 classroom not to touch matches and lighters, what to do when the smoke alarm goes off, and more. In the kindergarten and first grade classrooms, the children enjoyed playing the online game Help Mikey Make It Out, as well as My Friend the Firefighter and the Keep Away! game activities from playsafebesafe.com. Trainers and teachers worked together to create a “make your own” smart board: as a child used the pointer to choose items projected at the front of the room, while the trainer pressed buttons on the projector to select them.
With the second graders the trainers used the new fire sets, including doorway, window and meeting place, that Prevention 1st built thanks to a grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities. The children learned to locate the ways out of a room, to respond right away if the smoke alarm goes off, check the door with the back of the hand before opening, and stay low if there is smoke.
They also learned what to do if they couldn’t go out by the door. The trainers positioned the fire set window and asked one child to be “inside” and make sure the firefighters outside would be able to see her.
“You’re the firefighters,” the children watching “outside” were told. “Can you see her?” As their classmate shouted and waved broadly, the answer was a resounding “Yes!” And the children learned exactly what they would need to do to let firefighters know where they are.