Otto the Auto, a talking car, accompanied by three police officers, visited the Greater Bergen Community Action Head Start location in Paterson on Thursday to teach young children and their parents about pedestrian and traffic safety.
Otto, a three feet tall remote controlled car, engaged the three, four, and five year olds in memorable traffic safety exercises. Otto interacted verbally and through animation to teach the children about looking all ways before crossing a street.
The talking car also taught the importance of holding a trusted adult’s hand when crossing the street, wearing bicycle helmets, buckling seat belts, and sitting in child safety seats.
“It is important for children to learn traffic safety at an early age, both at school and at home” Nancy Griner, Director of GBCA’s Head Start/Early Head Start program, said.
Police officers J. Torres, K. Diaz, and L. Taylor participated in the presentation to teach city children about traffic and pedestrian safety.
“Children who understand how to be safe near traffic will also learn to develop a respect for safety issues and will likely continue that safe and responsible behavior as they grow up,” Griner said.
The Head Start and Early Head Start programs are free pre-school programs for 0-5 year olds and their families. The program offers free English as second language classes, citizenship classes to parents throughout the year.