Young children are especially vulnerable to risky behaviour on the road, which is why five students at Educa SOŠ s.r.o. in the Czech Republic created a special initiative to educate pre-schoolers on safe pedestrian and cycling behavior.
After discussing various aspects of pedestrian safety, the teens from Educa SOŠ s.r.o. concluded that pre-school children have a special need for road safety education. This is because older school children in the Czech Republic have adequate information on the topic – they receive 10 compulsory lessons about road safety and using a bicycle – but pre-school children do not receive any information. This makes these young children especially vulnerable, both to becoming the victims of unsafe driving behavior as pedestrians and to becoming the cause of an accident through their own unsafe behavior as passengers in cars or on public transportation.
The students designed an initiative that aimed to help teach these youngsters about good behavior in crosswalks, near roads, in the car and on public transportation to help them keep safe. They recognized that educating small children takes an effort from the whole community, not just from parents. They also knew that keeping the attention of pre-schoolers wouldn’t be easy, so they made sure to create a presentation that was funny and interactive.
The students visited various pre-schools in their area with a 60-minute long performance that was so entertaining it kept the children’s attention for the full hour. First, they gave the children a practical lesson about road safety. They taught about the meanings of basic road safety terms, about traffic signs and about the colours of the traffic light.
Then the fun began! The students had created a series of very funny sketches to demonstrate the difference between safe behavior and risky behavior for pedestrians, cyclists and passengers. The sketches were based on scenarios like crossing the street, and proper behavior in the car and on public transport. They also created sketches to show the safety-enhancing effects of wearing reflective clothing, and to reinforce the new terms and ideas they had taught the children earlier. They knew right away that the initiative was a success because the children reacted with smiles, laughter and lots of enthusiasm.
At the end of the performance, there was a short quiz to help test how much the children had learned – which was a lot! They were able to explain words like pedestrian, crossing, traffic light and many more. And, as a highlight of the whole performance, they were also able to take part in special sketches where the children themselves demonstrated the difference between good and bad behavior.
Parents, teachers, local police and, of course, the children were all very appreciative of the lesson and the great effort the students had made, and everyone sent them thank you emails. The students shared very important messages about road safety to help keep the children safe, and they also helped everyone to learn about being active and responsible community members.