Know Your Firefighter
The preschoolers at Oneida Nation’s Early Learning Center had a very special presentation during Fire Prevention Week. Before their eyes their teacher Misty Van Patten transformed into a firefighter – all in an effort to lessen the fear factor, if you will, of what a firefighter looks like in action.
“At this age, we work on familiarity, so they’re not afraid of seeing a firefighter,” explained Charlie Sherman, environmental health and safety specialist, with the Emergency Management Department. “It’s a good idea to have a teacher or someone they know dress in the gear so they know who it is under the uniform.”
It was also important to show the children, should they encounter a firefighter, “that he or she will be crawling, not walking. It’s OK to tap them on the shoulder and maybe make some noise to get that firefighter’s attention.”
The presentation, held in the Nation’s Library at the Ray Elm Children and Elders Center, also included discussions on stop, drop and roll; good fires versus bad fires; and the dangers of playing with matches. The event concluded with a show and tell from the City of Oneida’s Fire Department featuring an engine.
The Early Learning Center program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). It strives to nurture each child’s physical, cognitive, language and social-emotional growth.
Located in the Ray Elm Children and Elders Center, the ELC program is designed for children six weeks to 12 years old. Children of Members and other American Indians, as well as children of Nation employees are eligible. The ELC is open year-round, and offers full and part-time enrollment options.
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