Farm animals make for an excellent example at St. Augustine Catholic School Monday

Farm animals make for an excellent example at St. Augustine Catholic School Monday

Elementary school students receive farm safety tips

St. Augustine students have common farm safety messages explained

“Stay safe to play safe,” was one of the common messages presented to St. Augustine Catholic School elementary students last week during a farm safety course.

Priscilla Tames, west central instructor with the Farm Safety Centre, spent two days Feb. 8 and 9 educating kids in Kindergarten to Grade 6 on several key ways to stay safe on the farm. “When we get to Grade 6. we talk about large animals and quads and that kind of safety just because they’re (kids) handling it a bit more often,” Tames explained.

The program, which is free for schools, has become quite popular and Tames said last year instructors reached 55,000 students in Alberta and the year before that they reached 65,000. She suggests the need for farm safety education in schools is still important. Instructors set number goals to ensure the program, which has continuity in its various stages, reaches as many kids as possible.

“It’s neat to see when you come back to a school what they remember from it,” said Tames.

She has found that students will remember safety tips learned the previous year. The seven themes are:

* Kindergarten: One Seat One Rider;

* Grade 1: To Stay Safe, Play Safe;

* Grade 2: Boats Float, I don’t;

* Grade 3: Hear Hear, Listen Up;

* Grade 4: It Can Happen to Me;

* Grade 5: Get a Grip, Safety’s in My Hands;

* Grade 6: Bigger, Faster…But I’m Smarter.

“It’s neat that that has stuck with them,” said Tames.

Kids are given stickers and safety decals to take home, which helps develop conversations of safety with family members. “Parents learn from kids,” said Tames.

She added that sometimes an adult can be set in their ways, but when they hear of safety tips from their children, they may change their habits.

“Our goal is that these children take these messages home and share it with their parents,” explained Tames.

There is reward in seeing kids come back year after year remembering the lessons learned over the previous years.

Tames said all schools need to do is call to book an instructor and the program is partly paid for with government grants and corporate sponsorship.