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New 4-H event stresses education, fun

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Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014 5:51 pm | Updated: 6:09 pm, Thu May 15, 2014.

SPRINGVALE - With the goal of helping kids make safer choices, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering its first 4-H Safety Saturday on May 31. The program covers, ATV, bike, tractor and fire safety, and offers CPR instruction.

The event, to be held outside at 21 Bradeen St., Springvale, from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., offers a morning safety session that is free and open to the public, followed by a CPR certification class at 12:30 p.m. that is open to enrolled 4-H members ages 12 and up. The cooperative extension runs 4-H, which is an out-of-school youth educational program.

Trent Schriefer, a 4-H youth development professional with the cooperative extension, said the idea for a safety event came from a monthly meeting with 4-H leaders.

“We don’t do a spring event normally,” said Schriefer. “We saw this as a way to kick off the summer season and to serve the 4-H and Sanford communities as a whole.”

Schriefer also said the event will provide a great opportunity for youth from the community to meet other young people in 4-H groups, as well as area fire and police officers.

“It’s important that kids, especially young kids, get to know community service providers at this type of event, which can then grow into a positive relationship,” said Schriefer.

Staff members of the Sanford fire and police departments have been working closely with the cooperative extension on the safety event.

Steve Benotti, Sanford’s assistant fire chief, said an event like Safety Saturday provides a good opportunity for community interaction.

“We try our best to accommodate different events when asked. We plan on having the Station 1 engine from Springvale on hand at the 4-H event,” said Benotti. “The more we can touch the community and talk to people one on one about who we are and what we do, the better.”

The morning safety session, which does not require pre-registration, will offer the fundamentals of safety and features four learning stations. Each station will offer one-hour seminars that will focus on one topic, either ATV, fire or bicycle safety – led by Sanford police and fire staff – or tractor safety, which will be overseen by Richard Brzozowski, an educator from the cooperative extension’s Cumberland County office.

The public portion of the day will end with a free pizza and hot dog lunch from 12-12:30 p.m. Schriefer said families and youth are invited to stay and eat with safety providers. In the event of rain, the morning sessions and lunch will be canceled.

Registration is required for the CPR certification training session from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Enrolled 4-H members will be taught how to recognize and respond to a cardiopulmonary emergency. A 4-H program information table will be part of the day, as well. Schriefer hopes that participants will come away with safety information and tips and a reminder that 4-H is an active group in the area.

 “We hope to introduce and reintroduce people to 4-H and let them know it is no longer just cows and corn. We have science programs, robotics, livestock, horse, sewing and general groups in the 21 4-H clubs in York County, including an aerospace afterschool program in Sanford,” said Schriefer. “I want the Sanford community at large to know that 4-H is alive and well in the region.”


A CLOSER LOOK

Safety Saturday will take place in Springvale at the UMaine Cooperative Extension at 21 Bradeen St. on May 31 beginning at 10 a.m.. To register for CPR training, or for more information on Safety Saturday, including disability accommodations, call Trent Schriefer at the extension office at 324-2814.


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