Introduction Children develop a sense of security and self-worth by becoming familiar with
themselves, their home, and the world around them. They look to adults, in-
cluding parents, teachers, and other adults in their lives, to take care of them.
This curriculum will increase children’s awareness of their own communities
and ways they can help within their home and environment. Children will
also be introduced to sources of help in their community, including safety per-
sonnel and health helpers, and they will learn where to get items they need.
It is important for children to realize that health and safety workers can assist
them, and that they should ask these workers for help if they need it. For example,
in a fire emergency, children may be afraid of the firefighters in their helmets,
uniforms, and oxygen tanks. Children may fear police officers if they are regularly
exposed to violence or if they live with an adult who is involved in illegal activities.
Children who are hurt or who have an injured loved one may not understand that
paramedics can help them or that it is okay to go in an ambulance.
Topics in this curriculum include homes and neighborhoods, safety helpers,
health helpers, consumerism, citizenship, and environmental education. The
activities and resources presented encourage children to seek appropriate assis-
tance (which may prevent injury or death), help children recognize the role of
health and safety helpers, and foster positive feelings about community health
and safety personnel.
Each chapter covers one topic and starts with an overview that includes sug-
gested interest area materials, learning objectives, vocabulary words to intro-
duce and use (which should include vocabulary words in the languages spoken
by the families of children in the class), supports for creating the learning envi-
ronment, and suggestions for evaluating children’s understanding of the topic.
The overview is followed by activity ideas. Icons appear with each activity to
identify the areas of development and learning integrated into the activity: