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Children's Village: A crossroad to safety

Children's Village
A crossroad to safety
By Rochelle Morrell

Did you know that every 60 seconds 12 children in America are seriously injured from occurrences such as vehicle crashes, fires and burns, drowning, poisoning or choking? Now look at the pictures. What you see is prevention in action. At Children's "Safety" Village, children are given the tools they need to help them be safe in their daily lives.
The pictures also tell the story of a community ahead of its time, a community committed to proactively addressing the number one cause of death for children under 14, unintentional injury.
For over 20 years, Children's Village has provided free safety education and emergency preparedness for all children in the county. Students who attended Children's Village in its infancy are now returning as parents of current students. Without exception, they recall safety lessons learned and how those lessons became part of their lives. They remark at the many changes and improvements they see at today's Children's Village, but agree that the safety education and skills training available to students remain second to none.
The concept and creation of a Children's "Safety" Village speak to our community's commitment to child safety. The innovative and successful program at Children's Village is now being gifted to the next generation. And, what a gift it remains, evidence that Washington County refuses to wait for its children to become part of the statistics noted above. For 20 years and counting, Children's Village has helped students learn that fires and injuries are understandable, predictable, and nearly always preventable.
Safety is no accident!
Children's Village and safety education have been synonymous terms for a generation. What helps make this possible? New ideas and programs come and go regularly. But a grassroots effort growing into a national acclaimed program, serving children in Washington County for more than 20 years, is something to note. Community commitment, and support remain driving factors, while ongoing success stories continue to define the program. Also, Children's Village provides a premier fire and personal child safety curriculum presented by dedicated instructors, who keep students engaged. At Children's Village, classroom presentations and skills training exercises are monitored for effectiveness both by teachers who accompany their classes to Children's Village, and then provide feedback, and by the pre-and post-tests students take. A sampling of these tests indicates that students routinely move from the 70th percentile in pre-tests to 90th percentile following their education at Children's Village. Children leave the campus with interactive homework assignments to complete with adult family members. These safety projects not only reinforce what students learn at Children's Village but also create safer homes throughout the community, while the state-of-the-art safety campus provides a setting unlike an ordinary classroom. Many ingredients, many partners, equal safety for many children.
Children's Village is located at 1546 Mt. Aetna Rd., Hagerstown. For more information call 301-733-4443, visit or send an email to

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