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Calendars teach third-graders monthly fire safety messages

Fire safety calendars were distributed to a host of teachers at Thomson and Dearing elementary schools last week.

"It's all part of our state fire safety campaign," said James H. Crawley, an investigation specialist with the Georgia State Fire Marshal's Office.

Mr. Crawley teamed with Thomson Fire Chief Rick Sewell in making the presentations to the two schools in McDuffie County.

Each third-grade teacher at those schools, as well as third-grade teachers throughout the state's 159 counties, received one of the calendars, which are part of a statewide campaign spearheaded by Georgia State Fire Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine.

The calendars are the collaboration of the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner's Office, Georgia Fire Sprinkler Association, Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation and Georgia Fire Inspectors Association, said Mr. Crawley, who lives in Thomson and serves as a volunteer firefighter with the Thomson Fire Department.

"What is so special about these calendars is the message targeted at the third-grade classes across the state," Mr. Crawley said. "The mission of this project is to educate the children of Georgia to become advocates in fire safety."

The calendars offer a special fire safety message each month.

"These messages are derived from a poster contest where teachers submit posters with a fire safety message of elementary school age children," Mr. Crawley said. "The winners of the poster contest are invited to the state capitol for a tour and special luncheon where awards are presented."

The top 12 winners get to have their artwork displayed on a calendar page.

"I'd like for us to take part in the contest next year," said Thomson Elementary School Principal Anita Cummings. "It sounds like such a fun project. I'm going to tell our art teacher (Ronny Baggett) about this."

The calendars "are absolutely beautiful," Mrs. Cummings said. "Our teachers will certainly love them."

Chief Sewell said the calendars are a "great way" to share with students just how important fire safety is.

"This a great program, and we're glad to be part of it," hesaid.

Web posted on Thursday, March 04, 2010

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