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Grand Prairie ES second grade annual fire station field trip goes virtual

Joliet Fire Department firefighter Officer Matt Fleck answers questions from Grand Prairie Elementary School second graders via Zoom during a virtual field trip to learn about fire safety on October, 9, 2020. Each October second graders physically visit a fire station. The fire station tour and fire safety lessons were completed online this year during remote learning.  Grand Prairie Elementary School second graders learned about fire safety thanks to a virtual field trip to a Joliet fire station during Fire Prevention Week from October 4-10, 2020.

The second-grade teachers and support staff members - Candace Savage, Laura Klima, Jennifer Waller, Shelley Hoffee, Ashley Murphy, and Madison Schultz – created a presentation about fire safety with help from the Joliet Fire Department.

Grand Prairie second graders visit Joliet Fire Station No. 8 on Essington Road each October to learn about fire safety.

Students experienced the tour and key fire safety lessons virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning.

“Bringing students on a virtual trip gives them something to look forward to which is such a powerful part of mental health as well,” Klima said. “Breaking up the routine for a ‘fun activity’ was a much-needed event for many of the students and teachers.” 

Teachers created the online lessons featuring activities such as creating a home fire exit map, watching fire safety videos created by the Joliet Fire Department, going on a virtual fire station tour, and talked with a firefighter.

Joliet firefighter Matt Fleck answered student questions via Zoom, Klima said.

The class spanned part of the social studies class and teacher office hours on October 9, she said.

The fire department also donated toy fire hats to the students to pick up with their laptops on October 15 and 16, 2020.

The field trip was recorded and put online for students to see if they had to miss it.

“One student was sad he would be in Disney at the time and not able to attend – that is some big competition,” Klima said.

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