Evanston Safety Town began in 1977 as a project of the District 65 Evanston/Skokie Council of PTAs with representatives from the 13 elementary and middle schools. It continues as a Standing Committee of the PTA Council.
4 to 7 year olds benefit the most from the program which consists of 20 hours of classroom and playground activity, separated into 10 two-hour modules over 2 weeks. No camp is held on the July 4 holiday.
Camp follows the District 65 summer school schedule. Choose between morning sessions (9:30-11:30 am) and afternoon sessions (1-3 pm). No food or drink is allowed. There are drinking fountains and bathrooms in the rooms.
About halfway through each day, the campers are divided into two groups so that a group goes outside to the “town” to practice the safety rules. Then the groups switch so that the inside group goes out and the outside group comes in to work on projects that relate to the day's topic.
The sequence of topics varies with the availability of Police and Fire Department representatives. Speakers may include trained pet therapy dogs and lifeguards. (see Topics)
There is a bike safety day each session where a representative of a local bike store visits to talk. The importance of helmets and the correct way to wear them is emphasized.
Teen volunteers are an important part of the program. The teens work with groups of 2-3 campers and are available for a one-to-one relationship when required. Every day before the campers enter, the teacher explains the topics for the day, the materials required and then oversees the teens as they cover the topics.