by Lisa Tome
It's hard to tell exactly which group enjoys Community Helpers Day more - the children or the adults.
Community Helpers Day is part of Safetyville and was held last week at Thomson Estates Elementary School.
During this event, adults bring vehicles and interact with children. Safetyville, for children ages 4-5, is a longstanding summer tradition in the county. It is a partnership between the Cecil Sheriff's Office and Cecil County Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the school system.
Safetyville teaches children the role of police in the community, stranger danger, gun safety, bike safety, poisons/household safety, water, electric, and fire safety, as well as pedestrian and motorist safety. Children also learn to dial 911. Community Helpers Day is a highlight of the two-week program.
"I love it. I love the kids," said TFC Kelly Seefeldt of the Maryland State Police. "This provides contact between us and the community."
Mike Staines is a crewmen for the county roads department. He brought a grader and a v-plow to helpers day. "I've been here three years. The kids get so excited," said Staines.
Matt Skocik brought along a State Highway Administration dump truck. Children were climbing in and out of the truck and Skocik was assuring safe exit and entry. "I like to see all the local organizations come together for the children," said Skocik.
David Wyre, who also works for the SHA, has been attending helpers day for more years than he can count. "I like the kids. They ask about the trucks. They ask how to work the plows," said Wyre.
Bobby Plato is Cecilton's fire chief. Last week, he was accompanying his five-year-old son, who was attending Community Helpers Day. "This is important so kids learn safety and what to do if they get lost of if there is a fire. It's important that they learn this, My son knows the firefighting stuff but it's important that he learn the police stuff," said Plato. Plato also said that his wife, who is 34 years old, attended Safetyville when she was a youngster.
Skip Roland is an Elkton police officer. He said it's important to teach children how to be safe. "They need to know what goes on in the community. This makes them aware of what goes on in the community," said Roland.
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