Naperville Safety Town has canceled its summer program for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Closure Due to Health Concerns
A post on the Safety Town website reads, “Given the new CDC guidelines for COVID-19, we felt this was the correct course of action. Naperville Safety Town is concerned first and foremost about the safety and health of our children, instructors, volunteers, and community.”
The Safety Town Summer Program is typically offered to children entering kindergarten or first grade. The week of courses focuses on teaching kids a variety of lessons including personal safety, water safety, fire safety, and railroad safety.
The miniature town is used to help teach these lessons, with kids able to ride around on Safety Town vehicles to learn about bike and pedestrian safety, or practice fire evacuation drills.
Possibly Expanded to Second Graders in Summer 2021
The Naperville Safety Town Commission is exploring the possibility of expanding their age range next summer to kids from kindergarten through second grade, to accommodate those who missed out this year.
For now, parents of Safety Town aged kids are encouraged to check the Naperville Safety Town Facebook page for safety tips to share with their children.
Safety Town History
Safety Town has been a part of Naperville for over 40 years. The nationwide safety program was launched in our city in 1978 by the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club and former Naperville mayor George Pradel – known then as “Officer Friendly.”
During its early stages, Pradel would travel to area schools and bring a cardboard version of the town, to help teach kids about safety.
In 1996, the current Safety Town facility was opened on the corner of Aurora Avenue and River Road.
In 2015 the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club and the Naperville Safety Town Commission held a ceremony to commemorate changing the name of Safety Town to officially be “A. George and Patricia Pradel Safety Town of Naperville” in honor of the couple’s dedication to the children of Naperville.
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