By Sue Hammond
Fire safety, distracted driving and first aid are just a few of the programs offered by the Chautauqua Safety Village (CSV) in Ashville, N.Y., that Rotary Club of Westfield-Mayville members learned more about during the group’s Nov. 10 Zoom meeting.
Jessica Dayton, executive director of the CSV since 2018, was the guest presenter who discussed the programs and updates. Her presentation was sponsored by Rotarian John “Doc” Hamels.
Prior to 2018, Dayton was a CSV volunteer who assisted with its many events for several years before coming on staff full time as its associate director in 2017. She has spent her career managing programs that promote the well-being of youth in the region.
Dayton has been employed at the YWCA of Jamestown, N.Y., Chautauqua County Department of Mental Health, Project Crossroads at the Jamestown Police Department and the BOCES TEAM and CHOICE programs.
As listed on the CSV website, its mission is “to promote the well-being of children and community members through a wide range of experiential safety training and services.” Dayton’s vision for the CSV is “to increase participation from schools outside of Chautauqua County, to build community collaborations, and to provide community safety through education.”
“When what was then called the Chautauqua Children’s Safety Education Village began in 2010, it offered three programs,” Dayton said. “We updated our brand, name and logo, and expanded our safety education for not only children, but also middle and high school students, as well as adults. We also are reaching out more beyond Chautauqua County to other counties in the region, including in Pennsylvania.”
“The pandemic has changed how we do business. We had to get creative and adapt our programs, and we put some of our Safety Village planned renovations on hold. We are offering virtual field trips, and we created videos that teachers can share with students. Thanks to technology, we can offer a simulated fire safety program, an interactive floor game for traffic and bike safety, and a distracted driving video simulation program.”
In addition to these offerings, other CSV programs and services include first aid and hands-only CPR for students in grades four through 6; basic child care for area schools’ family and consumer science students; home alone safety for middle school students in health classes and after-school programs; and CPR certification for adults.
CSV also offers free smoke alarms and will install them. It offers a child passenger safety service that has a certified technician who will check child safety seats for recalls or defects, and will also help with the correct installation of the seats. The CSV has a few safety seats that are free to the public.
The Rotary Club of Westfield-Mayville commends Jessica Dayton and all of the Chautauqua Safety Village staff, board members and volunteers who provide many important safety programs for children and adults.
For more information about the CSV, its programs and/or its cash calendar fundraiser, see the CSV website at www.chautauquasafetyvillage.com or call 716-338-0170.