Youth Safety Days, sponsored by the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Morgan County office, was recognized Sept. 26 with the Colorado State Cooperative Extension Team Award. The Team Award is given annually to recognize a Cooperative Extension program developed and implemented by collaborating Cooperative Extension professionals.
The group formed the educational program in response to seven deaths in Morgan County in ten years due to farm accidents, particularly farm machinery accidents. Research also shows that children living on farms and ranches may spend time home alone or need to respond to in emergency situations at home. Through partnerships with local agencies and school groups, the program taught third through fifth grade students about farm safety and general home safety.
"Helping to prevent accidents that injure or kill children or adults in any community is an important effort," said Milan Rewerts, Colorado State Cooperative Extension director. "This program fills a critical educational need and has life-saving impacts in Colorado communities. The Youth Safety program embodies the mission of Cooperative Extension – to bring experts together to provide practical, useful education that makes a difference. The team is well-deserving of recognition."
The safety program, which includes hands-on activities, videos and demonstrations, is offered every three years in Morgan County schools so that it reaches all children in the community. The program has taught children about electrical safety, lawn and garden safety, first aid, train safety, food safety, chemical safety, fire safety, water safety, seatbelt safety, farm equipment safety, animal safety, sun protection and how to respond if they are first on the scene of an accident.
In addition to reaching children with this information, one partner, Morgan County Rural Electric Association, helped to provide information to students that they could take home and share with their families. Assistance from the school district helped to adapt the classes for hearing-impaired and non-English speaking students.
Team members and partners include Colorado State Cooperative Extension Morgan County professionals LuAnn Boyer, Janice Dixon and Marlin Eisenach; American Red Cross in Morgan County; Morgan County REA; Kay Jan, Inc.; Colorado State Patrol; Morgan County Sheriff’s Office; Brush Fire Department; Jackson Park and Jackson Lake Rangers; Brush Recreation Department; Colorado Operation Lifesaver; Morgan County FFA Chapters; and Morgan County Elementary Schools.
The program also has been recognized with the Abner Baker Appreciation Award.