Video: MCAO Working for a Safe Kids Summer

Community

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office just finished a record breaking summer reaching more than 4,000 kids throughout the Valley with our Safe Kids Summer Program. Through a combination of fun booths featuring our safety trivia wheel and our classroom-based learning program, we were able to reach about 100 more children than in 2016.

Throughout the summer, our amazing Safe Kids Summer volunteers and staff visited more than 25 different community pools and libraries to engage with kids and their parents in safety conversations. We taught all ages the importance of practicing safety including when you are online, when you’re in a car, and even when you are at home.

During our Summer learning program, our staff gave 26 presentations to children at summer camps and community centers throughout our community. These curriculum-based interactions allowed staff to go more in-depth into safety tips like bullying and personal safety. The programs are based on the nationally recognized KidSmartz and NetSmartz programs developed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

KidSmartz is a program geared toward younger kids and focuses on tips to avoid being a target for abduction, recognizing when touching may be inappropriate and how to tell who is a trusted adult that the child can go to if something happens that seems wrong.  NetSmartz provides age-appropriate materials to help teach children how to be safer on and offline. The program features lessons about safely using the internet, cell phones, online gaming, messaging apps and social networks. Kids also learn the importance of making good choices and how to avoid risky behavior. With interactive materials such as videos, games, activity cards and presentations, these programs entertain while providing invaluable education.

It was an amazing, although hot, experience for all of our volunteers and staff and we are already working on making our next Summer programs even bigger.