Friendly Town creates a fun experience for kids

News

DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Imagine a town made just for kids, where stop signs are their height and police and fire stations are easily accessible.

Danville’s police department made just that. Students from first to third grade can visit Danville’s “Friendly Town” this summer.

Kids can expect to learn about a variety of topics in an interactive format including important life skills. They’ll also meet leaders in their community.

“I’m excited because I never gone there before,” said Glorianna White-Anding, a Friendly Town participant.

Pedestrian safety and stranger danger to cyber safety and bullying – kids are looking forward to what they can do and learn here at Danville’s Friendly Town.

It’s installed next to Lincoln Park and it’s for kids like Tessa and Glorianna White-Anding.

Their mom went to Friendly Town when she was in 3rd grade, and they are excited to experience what she did.

“I am full of energy and I like running and I like to use the stop signs on that part,” said Tessa White-Anding. “I’m so excited to use them.”

At Friendly Town, kids practice calling 9-1-1, “drive” with traffic controls and interact with first responders. Along with the lessons they learn here, kids also get the chance to learn a little bit more about police officers.

“The kids are able to come into an environment where it’s more relaxed,” said Josh Long, an officer with Danville Police. “They get to see us more on a personal basis. We get to learn more about them.”

Friendly Town was canceled last year because of COVID but officials are excited for the activities to be back on for this summer.

“I really like to build that trust with them at a young age to where they feel comfortable coming to not only myself, but to any officer and that’s what we really hit home about too,” said Long.

The Friendly Town program will be five days of instruction for two hours each day, and is completely free.

If parents want to sign their kids up, contact Officer Josh Long at jlong@danvillepd.org.

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