Envision a child-sized city, a mini-Longview, complete with 16 small buildings representing a police and fire station, a train depot, a bank, a church, a hospital, and business and professional offices. There is an auto dealer, an insurance building, a museum, a weather station, a grocery, a restaurant, and a service station. The “city” simulates the real traffic environment of our community and includes an overpass and a railroad crossing. Working traffic lights and major traffic signs dictate the movement of pedestrians, bicycles and mini-cars operated by children.
An interdisciplinary social study – science curriculum effectively teaches the rules of bicycle, auto and pedestrian safety in the classroom. Patrol officers from the Longview Police Department and trained volunteers will oversee the actual practice of these guidelines in Safety City. Children will thus have the opportunity to develop a healthy respect for community laws and law enforcement personnel. When fully implemented, the curriculum will also address the areas of anti-victimization and substance abuse.