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. Safety Town started as a fee-based program on one Santa Barbara site; the six week-long sessions accommodated 360 children.  In 2007 the program doubled in size when we added camper scholarships and offered the program to various sites throughout the community to improve accessibility.  Safety Town of Santa Barbara County is a 501(c)3 non- profit organization with a volunteer board of directors.  We work closely with the local school districts to offer our summer program.  Over the years we have developed partnerships with nonprofits and businesses that assist with our operations (National Charity League, MarBorg Industries, Optimist Club, Easy Lift Transportation) and facilitate attendance for some of our local underserved populations (Isla Vista Youth Projects, St. Vincent’s, Transition House's Storyteller).

Safety Town introduces five and six year olds children to a wide variety of personal and public safety topics 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.  The children learn how to dial 911 for emergency help, memorize their home address and an important family phone number.  The five-day, 17.5-hour, program is offered in the summer at various elementary school-based locations.

At Safety Town, the serious subject of safety is combined with craft activities and songs to reinforce their leaning, making the experience lots of fun!  Community professionals including police officers and firefighters and forest rangers visit Safety Town to enhance the safety lessons.  Safety Town professionals continue to modify and enhance the curriculum to keep it relevant. 

Safety Town lead instructors are certificated teachers from local elementary schools.  Two teen counselors-in-training 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 children entering kindergarten in the fall or those just completing kindergarten, regardless of a family’s ability to pay for services.