It’s a city within the City of Brookings.

Safety City is a project launched 23 years ago by retired police officer Dan Palicki of Brookings.

“The purpose is to help 5-year-olds learn about safety in their environment, in their home and wherever they may be,” Palicki said.

The classes are held each summer at Kalmiopsis Elementary School through a partnership between the Brookings Police Department and the Brookings-Harbor School District.

The most-recent sessions had been conducted Monday through Friday mornings every other week since June. The class participants’ graduation was held on July 27 at the school.

Each class offered the 58 children who attended visual demonstrations and reading materials to help them better understand safety issues, such as crossing an intersection, gun safety, water and fire safety.

Participating organizations included the U.S. Coast Guard, Brookings and Harbor fire Departments, Coos Curry Electric, Town and County Animal Clinic, and the Brookings-Harbor School District.

“It is a show-and-tell,” Palicki said. “We give them quite a bit to learn.”

Parent Amy Tormiei said the Safety City experience has been positive for her son. “There are a lot of skills that help him feel confident and safe as school starts in that new environment,” she said.

“It is a such good transition to a large school. He comes home every day telling me what he has learned and he is excited to share that information.”

Palicki said this summer’s Safety City cost $4,000 to support and included safety helmets and other materials for each of the children. The classes are free to the children, sponsored by community businesses and organizations, 38 in all.

“It cost about $55 to $60 for each child to attend and many parents can’t afford that, so we solicit sponsorships throughout the year,” Palicki said. “Some businesses donate $25, some donate $50. The Wild Rivers Community Foundation gave us $1,000 this year.”  

Palicki said his takeaway from the classes is the reward of seeing the children learn. He said he is also pleasantly surprised to see some of the children return to subsequent classes.

“We had seven past graduates of this class helping us with the new kids this summer,” he said.

For more information, or to registered as a sponsor for the next Safety City, call Dan Palicki at 541-469-5253.

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