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Safetytown events canceled

Virus affects annual events for a second year

File photo Three major Safetytowns in Washington County are canceled this year due to COVID.

At a glance:

¯ Barlow-Vincent Safetytown, Muskingum Valley Safetytown and Samuel R. Cook Safetytown are canceled again this year.

¯ The program is for incoming students in kindergarten and first grade.

¯ It covers topics such as bicycle safety, poison control and traffic safety.

Source: Times research.

Incoming students in kindergarten and first grade will not have the opportunity to attend Safetytown again this year.

Safetytown teaches students about safety topics such as farm safety, stranger safety, swimming safety, bike safety and fire safety. Along with these five main subjects, they also learn about electrical safety, poison safety and playground safety.

Samuel R. Cook Safetytown

Harmar Elementary Principal Cheryl Cook said the closer it got to time to hold this year’s Safetytown, the more it was deemed unsafe to hold the event.

“We’ve been doing a good job of controlling who comes into the school and there would be less control,” explained Cook. “Not everyone would have the vaccination.”

The event was tentatively scheduled for June 14 to June 24, which is generally a very warm time of year.

“If it could be hot, it would be during Safetytown,” she said. “We also thought of them wearing masks during the heat.”

The closing of Marietta’s Safetytown was recently announced on Facebook, but “we expect to be back better than ever in 2022, including instruction for children who have missed their anticipated Safetytown dates.”

Cook said they hated to close this year’s event, as it was also canceled last year due to COVID.

“We’re all super disappointed,” she said. “The first Safetytown, we want the kids to be safe.”

Muskingum Valley Safetytown

The Muskingum Valley Safetytown, which reaches Beverly-Center Elementary students, canceled this year.

They hope that next summer is a better environment for which to hold the event.

John Shreve has worked with Muskingum Valley Safetytown since its inception approximately 30 years ago.

“Our teachers don’t feel, since we use a lot of teenage volunteers with the kids and not many have been vaccinated, it’s not going to be safe,” explained Shreve. “We certainly hope to have it next year.”

Barlow-Vincent Safetytown

The Barlow-Vincent Safetytown was canceled due to more than just caution because of COVID.

Tara Anderson, co-founder of the local program and kindergarten teacher at Warren Elementary School, said she and other founder, Lisa Mayle, retired and no one has stepped up to take on the project.

“We are looking for certified teachers who are willing to take over Safetytown next year,” said Anderson.

Their Safetytown, which celebrated its 25th year in 2019, is held the first week after school.

For the past 25 years, there have been at least 50 students per year, with more kids added to a waiting list, Anderson said at the time.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

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