Our History

In 1976 Soroptimist International of Santa Barbara established the Safety Town program as their signature community service project.  They modeled our local program after one that was established in Akron, Ohio.    It started as a fee-based program on one site back in 1976; the six sessions accommodated 360 children.  Around 2007 the program doubled in size when we added a scholarship aspect and brought the program to various sites throughout the community to improve accessibility.  Safety Town of Santa Barbara County is a 501c(3) non- profit organization with a Board of Directors.  We work closely with the local school Districts.  Over the years we have developed partnerships with community organizations that assist with the operations (National Charity League, Marborg, Optimist Club, Easy Lift) and facilitate attendance for some of our underserved populations (Isla Vista Youth Projects, St. Vincent’s, Transition House Storyteller).

Safety Town introduces 5 and 6 year olds to aspects of safety including:  vehicle safety belts, bus riding, bicycle and pedestrian safety, playground and water safety, domestic violence, verbal and sexual child abuse, and gun and fire hazards.  They learn how to dial 911 for help, memorize their address and an important family phone number.  The 5-day, 20-hour, program is offered in the summer at various elementary school based locations.

The serious subject of safety is combined with craft activities, songs and lots of fun.  Community professionals such as police officers and firemen visit Safety Town to enhance the safety messages.  We continue to modify the curriculum to keep it relevant.  We are currently phasing in a new module on the potential overuse of electronic devices.

Instructors are certificated teachers.  Two teen counselors are assigned to a group of four children.  All teen counselors come from the local High Schools, providing over 6000 hours of volunteer community service per year.

Our mission is to provide a quality, comprehensive, safety education program to pre and post-kindergartners, regardless of a family’s ability to pay for services.