BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Safety has always been a very important and serious subject, which is why one group of high schools have come together to make a conversation about how kids can keep themselves safe not only informative, but also fun and engaging.
Team Hometown Heroes, an initiative of the Ford Dream Builders Leadership Program, is a project where 33 students from various high schools get together and create projects that will benefit the community. The group is named to honor first responders.
In order to educate kids about safety, Team Hometown Heroes has partnered with the Bakersfield Police Department to produce a safety assembly that will give kids multiple examples of what to do if they ever find themselves in a tricky situation.
Group member Kylee Tripp explains why they chose Highland Elementary.
"I personally wanted to do this school because my two little sisters go here and I thought it would be really important for them to see what the police department do so that they can have trust in them whenever they grow up," said Tripp.
Children were taught about internet safety, bullying, and solutions on what to do when they're put in an unsafe environment. The kids also took part in activities guided by a BPD officer.
Highland Elementary Principal Jennifer Stewart says she enjoyed watching the kids ask questions.
"I think with the evolution of the internet and social media, and the naivety and innocence of our children today, sometimes they trust a lot more than they should, and to have that education provides a proactive stance rather than a reactive stance," said Stewart.
Along with learning about why safety is important, the children were also asked to write letters to local police officers to thank them for protecting the community. Principal Stewart says her main goal for this assembly is to make sure all the kids know there is always someone they can turn to for help.
"There are people out there to protect them. We have a law enforcement agency out there to make sure that they're safe. We have adults that are here to keep them safe," said Stewart. "If there's ever any questions or any time that they're concerned that they have someone they can go to."
Any cards or letters the children would like to make for police officers will be given to Hometown Heroes for delivery to the police department. The group also plans to visit more elementary schools int he future in order to further spread awareness about the importance of safety.