The Early Childhood Center Learns from Community Heroes
Laura Sacco

The Early Childhood Center recently received visits from the Police and Fire Departments to teach us about safety. The Oyster Bay Cove Police Department officers taught students about everyday safety practices and emphasized the importance of personal well-being and community cooperation. Officers met with our Pre-Nursery, Nursery, and Pre-Kindergarten classes to discuss these essential topics in an age-appropriate manner. The officers explained what stranger danger is and how children should never get into the car of an unknown person, even if that person claims to be a friend. Officers also led students in a dialogue about traffic safety and the right time to cross the street and be aware of the green and red lights. Students participated in an interactive conversation about the role of law enforcement in our community and what their day-to-day jobs entail. They learned how officers keep neighborhoods secure by patrolling their neighborhoods and how they are always trusted allies who are approachable if there is a problem or if they get lost. They encouraged students to ask many questions, and as a result, students developed a deeper appreciation of the vital role police officers play in safeguarding their communities.

Firefighters from the Syosset Fire Department came dressed in their full "bunker" or "turnout" gear, which are terms many fire departments use to refer to the protective clothing worn by firefighters. Students learned the various functions of each of their outfits' components that kept the firefighters safe when entering a burning building. Firefighters taught the importance of identifying fire hazards, creating escape plans, and how the ideal meeting place for a family to reconvene is in the front yard of their house. Students also learned the importance of practicing fire drills at home and the necessity for smoke alarms. The children learned the vital "stop, drop, and roll" technique, and a student from Pre-K demonstrated the proper way to do this while covering his face to avoid smoke inhalation. Students also practiced the squat technique and learned how smoke rises and how to stay low to the ground. They then had the opportunity to go outside and sit in the fire truck and learn its various components. The children were encouraged to ask questions, ensuring they fully grasped the information. These visits from our most vital community helpers underscore the importance of proactive education and ensure a brighter, safer future for all our students.