Elmer the Safety Elephant – Pedestrian and Cycle Safety
The Elmer the Safety Elephant pedestrian and bicycle safety program is delivered to over 8,000 preschool and school aged children in K/Gr1 classrooms, preschools and daycares in North and West Vancouver. The “reach” of Safety Council materials distributed through the classroom and in community events far exceeded that number. In addition, teachers continue to provide excellent feedback on the presentations made by our instructors and consistently indicate that they inculcate the “Elmer” and Cycle Safety program messages throughout the school term. “Elmer” is also present at several North Shore community festivals.
Intermediate grade Cycle Skills and Safety
Supported entirely by an annual grant from the Optimist Club of the North Shore, the Cycle Skills and Safety program is delivered to almost 30 classrooms each year in North and West Vancouver, reaching over 500 intermediate-grade students with practical, hands-on riding instruction. The “reach” of Safety Council materials distributed through the classroom and in community events far exceeded that number.
High School Helmet Use and Brain Injury Awareness
In April 2009, the North Shore Safety Council premiered a showing of the locally-produced Knowledge Network video Wipe Out, which appeals to young people, especially young males, who are attracted to high risk activities. Since then, our organization has joined an injury prevention committee led by Vancouver Coastal Health with the intent of reinforcing a safe approach, including helmet use in skateboarding and snowboarding. This program provides an in-person presentation by a local high-profile professional snowboarder committed to helmet use to accompany the Wipe Out video presentation in grade 10 classrooms in School Districts 45 and 44.
This no-cost, volunteer-led program responds to requests from school groups and Brownie/Guide and Cub/Scout groups to use school or church play areas for simulated road-traffic cycling instruction and practice. A North Shore Safety Council program many decades ago, it was re-initiated by a local RCMP community policing office in 2010. The program was unfortunately dropped a year later with the closure of two of the three community policing locations in North Vancouver. With all of the equipment constructed or purchased, the Safety Council was invited to resume its role as an extension of the primary grade in-class cycle safety teaching.
Safety Superheroes: An Intergenerational Approach to Fall Prevention
For several years, the North Shore Safety Council has brought Elmer the Safety Elephant to Kindergarten and Grade 1 classes with fun, creative and effective teaching on pedestrian and cycle safety. The Safety Council and Vancouver Coastal Health are now partnering to deliver a new home safety program that equips students in Grade 2 to understand and raise awareness of safety matters that affect their grandparents and older adults in general.
Each year, thousands of older adults are taken to hospitals because of injuries sustained during a simple fall. The majority of these falls happen in their own homes while performing normal daily activities such as going to the bathroom, getting up from a chair or bed, going up or down stairs, or reaching for something. Falls are often due to home hazards that are easy to overlook but easy to fix.
To help address this issue, the first ever children’s book about falls prevention and home safety aimed at children and their grandparents was developed – Safety Superheroes: Preventing Grandparents From Falling. Using a new, intergenerational approach to fall prevention, the book focuses on the influence that grandkids can have on their grandparents (and vice-versa) to increase awareness about fall prevention and home safety.
Through a story book approach, Safety Superheroes teaches children ways to prevent older adults from falling by providing ideas on how to make their grandparents’ home safer. With a fun story, lively illustrations and loads of safety tips, this book is a great resource for stimulating the interaction between grandparents and kids in a topic that can have a major impact on their safety.