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Fun mixes with serious teaching of youngsters at Sylvania's Safety City

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Bradley Mazur, 5, right, cries out as he collides with another bicycle during this summer's Safety City.

The Blade/Katie Rausch
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Hands on teaching, balanced with simple rhymes and a dash of fun, were the ingredients for a successful Safety City.

On Thursday at the Sylvania Police event, Luca Camargo, 4, and his friend Ryan Vanderpoel, 5, recited guidelines and safety catch phrases they learned over the past few days. It was part of a week-long safety course that began Monday.

“Smoke makes you choke,” Luca said, repeating one of the sayings.

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“I gauge the learning with smiles,” Sgt. Justin Music said. “If they are having fun they are learning. We review messages consistently with movies and the cutest thing is the songs.”

He organized the course attended by 180 children this year. The children learn about safety around cars, trains, and guns before they enter kindergarten. Representatives of the Sylvania Township Fire Department teach them about fires, how to exit their home during a fire. Luca and Ryan said they each had a turn holding the fire house while putting out a fire. 

Sergeant Music said the mock city set up on Maplewood Elementary School‘‍s playground helps the youngsters learn about looking for traffic before crossing a street or to be aware of pedestrians at a crosswalk, and to wear a helmet on a bike and to always wear a seat belt in a vehicle. The children maneuver around the city by foot, bike, and car. 

Thursday’s session invited Garbage Gus of Republic Services to broaden children’s awareness about large trucks and how they can stay safe around them, such as the garbage trucks Republic uses to collect trash in the Sylvania area.

Parents and grandparents will get a dose of the “cuteness” on Friday, when the children graduate from the class and perform the safety songs learned during the course for their family.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.

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