Deputy Phil plans visits to schools

Keystone Elementary School student Kobe Buzard (center) takes a look for invisible money in a can held by Mike McDade (right) while Clarion County Sheriff Rex Munsee looks on during a 2016 "Deputy Phil" presentation. The sheriff's department and numerous area businesses sponsored the program which teaches respect, responsibility and safety to young students. The program, performed by McDade, is in its 29th year. (Submitted photo)
From staff reports

CLARION – Creative Safety Products will present their 2016-2017 Deputy Phil program to the students of Clarion County Elementary Schools. Their schedule is:

  • 9 a.m., Feb. 24: North Clarion Elementary
  • 2 p.m., Feb. 24: Clarion-Limestone (grades K-1) and 2:45 p.m., (grades 2, 3 and 4)
  • 8:30 a.m., March 10: Allegheny-Clarion Valley (grades K-2) and 9:15 a.m. (grades 3 and 4)
  • 9:30 a.m., May 9 (grades K-2) and 10:15 a.m. (grades 3 and 4)

The Deputy Phil program’s topics this year are respect, bullying, and stranger awareness.

With 41 years of experience and over one million students taught, they have learned that along with a little fun, like incorporating magic tricks and jokes into the educational lessons, comes a lot of learning. The students will enjoy a 30-minute safety assembly and get to meet deputies from the Clarion County Sheriff’s office, as well as Deputy Phil’s pal Lucky the Duck, who will join the performer to help teach the students some of the lessons.

One of the primary objectives of the Deputy Phil Program is to help the Clarion County Sheriff’s office establish a positive relationship with the youth in the county. It is very important for the children to know the deputies are friendly, approachable, and always available to help the children and their families, when in need.

The program will begin with an introduction of the Clarion County Sheriff or deputies in attendance.

The first lesson of the program is respect. Deputy Phil wants all the children in his “Safety Squad” to see his “bucket of respect.” The bucket gets filled every day by showing respect to others and following safety rules. The children will come up with ways they are going to show respect for others.

The bucket starts out empty, but when the children start “tossing” ideas into the bucket, bright foam stars magically appear in the bucket. The take away from this magic lesson is that if you want others to respect you then you need to show respect also. The children are reminded to respect themself, others, and the school rules, which in turn will help to fill their bucket of respect every day.

The next lesson is bullying. The performer will use three colored balls to talk about the different aspects of bullying. The green ball represents what does and does not constitute bullying.The yellow ball will represent caution. The children are reminded to be careful when they are on the internet. Cyber Bullying can happen to anyone that is on the internet if they are not cautious.

The Red ball reminds them of the word stop.If someone is bullying them, they should ask the bully to stop, and tell an adult. The takeaway here is they can stop bullying by being a buddy, being cautious and working together.

The final lesson is stranger awareness. The performer will use the magic drawing board, which is a favorite of the children. The face on the whiteboard comes to life with the help of their performer.

When a child finds themselves in an unsafe situation, they are often asked to describe the person that caused the concern. Through the use of the drawing board, the performer will ask for a description of a made-up stranger. The children giggle when the “stranger” moves his eyes and talks to them.

This is a great illustration to get the message across to the children that details are important in identifying a stranger. They once had children escape a potential abduction situation, and because of their show and their lesson on stranger awareness, they were able to describe to police in full detail, exactly what the suspect looked like.

At the end of the assembly, the children will all receive a hands-on activity book to work on at home with their family, to reinforce the lessons taught at the program. There are also online resources that will give teachers and parents some tools to review the safety messages.