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Akron, Ohio

City of Akron Awarded $7,000 Grant for Special Needs Program - Safety Town PLUS - from GPD Employee’s Foundation

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City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary
Published: 04-04-2017

Akron, Ohio, April 4, 2017 – This week, the City of Akron was awarded a $7,000 grant from the GPD Employee’s Foundation to operate an Akron Safety Town PLUS Program, aimed at educating and engaging children with special needs.

In 2016, the Akron Police Department held several four-day Akron Safety Town programs, and provided safety education to approximately 200 children. “While the program overall was a great success, it became apparent that some children with developmental or learning disabilities found it difficult to participate,” Mayor Horrigan said of the program.  “Therefore, in order to ensure that all our children have access to this important program, and thanks to the generosity of the GPD Employee’s Foundation, we will be expanding our program this year to include a Safety Town PLUS, dedicated to serving children with developmental or learning disabilities and their families.”

Akron Safety Town PLUS is a four-day, modified, hands-on safety educational program where students with disabilities will interact with police and fire personnel, through multi-sensory activities, in order to learn basic safety concepts.  The four-day class consists of lessons such as: Fire Safety, Bicycle Safety, Stranger Danger, K-9 Safety, Gun Safety and Pedestrian Safety. The City is collaborating with several area agencies, including Akron Public Schools, Autism Speaks, Summit DD, Autism Society of Greater Akron, and Akron Children’s Hospital Safe Kids, who will provide educational instructors and support for the program.

The Akron Police Department will host four sessions of Safety Town and one session of Safety Town PLUS between the summer months of June - August, 2017.  Additional Safety Town PLUS programs will be planned for the 2017-2018 school year.

“Children who complete the Safety Town and Safety Town PLUS programs will be better prepared to make safe decisions when facing everyday challenges and dangers in their communities and homes,” Mayor Horrigan said.  “Parents will be comforted, knowing that their children have been taught safety lessons that will follow them throughout their childhood and into adulthood. The program will also help form long-lasting positive relationships between students, police officers and firefighters. This is what true community building is all about.”

GPD Group employees established the GPD Group Employees’ Foundation Inc., a 501(c)(3), in 2014 to help channel donations to enrich the K-12 public education experience and support children with medical and special needs in communities where the firm works.

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For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary / Assistant Director of Law
166 South High Street
Suite 200
Akron, Ohio 44308
Phone: (330) 375-2325
E-mail: [email protected]

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