Friday, June 11, 2010

Good News Friday!

In the past 15 years, more than 200 Imagine! consumers have attended and graduated from the Boulder Police Department’s Safety First class. This free class was developed through a collaborative effort between the Boulder Police Department and the Association for Community Living (ACL) serving Boulder and Broomfield Counties.

Two different classes are offered annually. One class was developed for teens and the other class was developed for adults. Having two classes allows the class curriculum to address the different needs of the students. The class curriculum for both classes covers decision making skills, street-smart safety, home security, fire prevention, and how to call on police for help.

In addition to teaching how to be safe at home and in the community, the class fosters a positive relationship between our consumers and the police officers. This relationship building aspect of the class is extremely beneficial to our consumers. Prior to taking the class, many of our consumers had the misconception that police officers were to be feared and avoided, instead of recognizing that police officers are dedicated men and women who have chosen a career devoted to serving and keeping their fellow citizens safe. As the result of taking the class, it is much more likely for one of our consumers to seek out an officer if they become lost or require assistance while engaging in their community.

Here at Imagine!, we like to think that this class is beneficial to our entire community. When our consumers are able to successfully access the community and to live more independently, it increases the opportunities for them to be contributing members of the community through employment, volunteer work, and other activities. Safety First classes help to successfully incorporate our consumers into the fabric of our community, and the effort put forth by the Boulder Police Department has directly and positively impacted the lives of people who have taken the class, and their families.

The most recent Safety First for adults class was held in April, and a Safety First for Teens is scheduled for this fall. The teen class is designed for middle and high school aged students with developmental disabilities. The classes are a combination of lecture, small group and hands-on activities, and maintain a high instructor-student ratio. For more information, call Kris Gibson at 303-441-3332.

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