Hampton City Schools fourth graders learn fire safety
Fran Thompson, public educator for the Hampton division of fire & rescue, meets with every fourth grader in Hampton City Schools. She shares information about fire safety, having and checking smoke alarms, and helps students and their families develop escape routes and meeting places in case of a fire in their home.
Thompson, a certified teacher, meets with all 1,500 students during their library time in each of the elementary schools. She is the only fire safety educator in Virginia who uses electronic tablets in her lessons with the students. The tablets add creativity to the lessons and they keep students engaged. They are very interactive. This is Thompson’s third year using the tablets and she said it has been very successful.
Thompson said they chose fourth grade students to emphasize the training because this is an age where children are becoming a little more responsible. They might be helping to cook in the kitchen and they just have a curiosity about fire. It is an opportunity to teach them fire prevention skills early.
The lessons start with the students taking a short quiz/survey on the tablet. Thompson then covers the topics of smoke alarms and meeting places. Students are also given an optional homework assignment to make sure their home has a working smoke alarm and to help the family prepare a meeting place in the event of a fire. Those who return it by the next lesson (the following week) are awarded a prize.
Thompson says she enjoys educating the community about fire safety and she especially loves working with children. “I do this because I want to save children’s lives,” she said.
You may also view a Wired In segment with Thompson at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s697F53agyk.
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