Friendly Town

A group of children participating in Friendly Town in past years.

DANVILLE — Friendly Town will get to celebrate its 50th year of operation this year, after it skipped a summer last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With the summer months quickly approaching, so is the opening of Friendly Town for the summer of 2021.

This year’s improvements include continued upgrades to the classroom, outer buildings and learning material. And back by popular demand are the electric powered cars that children learn how to drive.

During a week at Friendly Town, many topics are discussed such as pedestrian safety, fire safety, stranger danger, cyber safety and bullying. Danville Police Division School Resource Officers will be assigned to conduct the classes, helping to provide a variety of personality and experience to this fun and interactive program.

Children have the opportunity to practice calling 911, using a simulated “city” to experience “driving” with traffic controls, and interacting with other first responders. Upon completion of the course, certificates will be awarded to each child.

“I also have the Danville Fire Department along with Carle Ambulance Service come in and speak and interact with the children. Along with the classroom time, we have a small, interactive “city” outside that the children have an opportunity to drive electric powered cars, through city streets with two sets of operating stop lights and one set of operating railroad crossings,” according to school resource officer Josh Long.

The Friendly Town program consists of five days of instructions for two and a half hours each day. There will be a morning session from 8:30-11 a.m. and an afternoon session from 1-3:30 p.m. The program is open to any child currently enrolling in 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade.

The program is completely free and open to any Vermilion County child meeting the age requirement. All COVID-19 protocols will be followed.

Friendly Town, the summer program consisting of classroom time and miniature city of buildings, traffic lights, railroad crossing and roadways for children to learn pedestrian and bicycle safety at Lincoln Park, started in 1970.

Individuals, businesses and organizations have lent a hand through the years with monetary and labor resources to assist with Friendly Town’s appearance and operations.

Hundreds of students have participated in the countywide program.

A sign-up form can be found on the Danville Police Department Facebook page.

The form reads: If you wish to enroll your child/children into Friendly Town, please mark the week and time that best suits you. Please mark a first and second choice. We will try and accommodate your first choice, however, keep in mind this may not be possible. Once you have submitted your form, you will be notified of the week and time you child/children will attend.

Please return the bottom portion of this form or email by June 21, 2021 to: Officer J. Long, 2 E. South St., Danville, Il 61832; jlong@danvillepd.org.

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