Hopewell Valley YMCA graduated 40 rising Kindergartners from the Safety Town program on Friday, June 30 at a ceremony that included Hopewell Township mayor, Kevin Kuchinski.
Now in its sixth year, Safety Town is a community project born out of a partnership between Hopewell Valley Mom’s Club and Hopewell Valley YMCA. This one-week YMCA program provides hands-on safety education for children in a safe, fun, and constructive play environment.
Safety Town was held at Bear Tavern Elementary School for the first time this year. Previous years were held at Hopewell Elementary School. Bear Tavern’s gym was transformed into a child-sized town with, miniature streets, crosswalks, community buildings and a working traffic light – making it the perfect setting for bicycle, pedestrian and vehicular safety instruction. The gym came alive as youngsters donned their helmets and navigated their way through “town” on bikes provided to the program by Knapps Cycles. 60 local teens volunteered to provide one-on-one assistance to the children. Teachers Kim Shugar and Judie Mochel were joined by daily visitors from the community including; Nancy Distelcamp of Capital Health to talk about bicycle safety; Officer Joe McNeil of Hopewell Township Police to discuss pedestrian safety; Hopewell Valley Emergency Services to demonstrate fire safety; and bus driver, Mr. Ron of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District, to teach bus safety.
The young graduates were honored at a graduation ceremony on Friday with certificates of completion presented by Hopewell Township Mayor Kevin Kuchinski & YMCA CEO Doug Pszczolkowski. Jean Gianacacci of Christine’s Hope for Kids was also there to present a $5,000 donation to Hopewell Valley YMCA ‘s annual campaign which provides scholarships and financial assistance to children attending HVYMCA’s summer camps.
“Providing community safety trainings and quality programing for children have long been pillars of our mission here at the Hopewell Valley YMCA, says CEO, Doug Pszczolkowski. “Whether it’s through CPR training, mental health first aid, or Safety Town, we believe that safety education is an important part of building a healthy community.”
The Hopewell Valley YMCA is offering several upcoming safety programs this summer including three mental health first aid trainings in July.
About the Y:The Hopewell Valley YMCA is a charitable organization dedicated to building a healthy spirit, mind, and body through programs which promote good health, strong families, youth leadership and community development. YMCA’s are open to men, women, and children of all ages, abilities, races and religions. For more information: www.hvymca.org