is located in Nassau County
, New York
and chances are, if you went to elementary school
in Nassau sometime
during the last 25 years, you've been there. For me, the field trip
to Safety Town was in second grade
Safety Town is basically a whole minature town--houses, roads, sidewalks,
traffic lights, the whole nine yards. First, they lead you into
a classroom where one of the Safety Town Instructors explains basic traffic
laws and the rules of the town.
Next, you get to be PEDESTRIANS! Everyone heads out to the town
and just walks around aimlessly on the sidewalks for a while, making sure
to follow the rules--look both ways before you cross the street, only cross
when the signal says "WALK," and so on. Instructors and teachers
walk around giving "tickets" to anyone they find breaking the rules.
After ten minutes or so, everyone heads back inside and gets a bicycle.
For another ten minutes, everyone gets to ride around the town on bikes,
this time either on the steets or the sidewalks. This was amusing
because it was the first time on a bike for a few of my classmates.
Finally, we handed in our bicycles and each got our own go-kart!
At this point, you were supposed to pretend you were in a real automobile
and drive around on the roads, but I'm not quite sure they realize what
happens when you give a bunch of 2nd graders their own internal combustion engine.
We ran amok. They might as well have handed us bumper cars.
People crashing into the wooden houses, into other cars, intentionally
aiming for teachers...
It was ugly. I wonder if it turns out like that in every class.
Fast forward 14 years, as I'm taking a road I don't normally travel
on to get to a golf driving range with some friends...lo and behold,
we pass Safety Town! Everyone got all nostalgic--even though we
were from two or three different high schools, we had all been to