Safety elephant program returns to Hamilton schools

News Oct 22, 2009 Ancaster News

When a group of students and teachers at Calvin Christian

School gathered around Hamilton police constable David Kerkhof at the school’s

flagpole on Monday they marked a bit of history.

For the first time in more than a decade, Elmer the Safety

Elephant returned to the city complete with a new look and the banner raising

at the school on West 5th was the first stop of the traffic safety program

that is being re-introduced at 10 schools in the city.

“The reason we’re relaunching here is I learned about Elmer

at this school when I was in grade school as a little boy,” said Const.

Kerkhof, who is overseeing the return of the program at Calvin Christian,

Holbrook and Regina Mundi elementary schools on the Mountain, along with St.

Francis Xavier in Stoney Creek and six other schools across the lower city.

Const. Kerkhof said the emphasis will be on Elmer’s seven

traffic safety rules:

. All ways look before you cross the street

. Keep away from parked cars

. Ride your bike safely - obey signs and signals

. Play in a safe place away from the street

. Walk when you cross the street

. Where there is no sidewalk, walk on the left, facing

traffic

. Always wear your seatbelt in the car

 

Ted Postma, principal at Calvin Christian, was pleased to

see Elmer’s return.

“Safety is important for our students and for our parents as

well,” Mr. Postma said. “We want our children to be aware and alert.”

For millions of Canadian children, first in Ontario then

across the country, Elmer the Safety Elephant was the synonymous with being

safe around automobiles.

The cartoon character dates back to 1947 when a group of

parents and teachers in Toronto were determined to do something about a growing

number of children being struck by automobiles.

The program was made public through the old Toronto Telegram

newspaper and helped reduce the accident toll among children by 44 percent in

its first year, while the number of cars on city streets was growing.

It wasn’t long before the program was adopted by the Ontario

Safety League and Elmer and his in-class safety messages were passed around the

province.

The program went national in 1961 when the Canadian Highway

Safety Council took over the program and kept it going after the Telegram

ceased publication in 1971.

For decades the Elmer flag was a source of pride at schools

where it flew to show the students were practicing the safety rules. At some

schools the flag was lowered if a student disobeyed one of the rules and as a

result, was struck by a vehicle.

Due to a lack of funding, the program was phased out in the

mid 90s.

In Hamilton, the elephant was replaced by the popular

Kidestrians program which was also eventually phased out due to funding issues.

Gone but not forgotten, Elmer got a make-over and featuring

a more youthful look was brought back in Nov. 2001 at schools and safety

villages across the country.

Safety elephant program returns to Hamilton schools

News Oct 22, 2009 Ancaster News

When a group of students and teachers at Calvin Christian

School gathered around Hamilton police constable David Kerkhof at the school’s

flagpole on Monday they marked a bit of history.

For the first time in more than a decade, Elmer the Safety

Elephant returned to the city complete with a new look and the banner raising

at the school on West 5th was the first stop of the traffic safety program

that is being re-introduced at 10 schools in the city.

“The reason we’re relaunching here is I learned about Elmer

at this school when I was in grade school as a little boy,” said Const.

Kerkhof, who is overseeing the return of the program at Calvin Christian,

Holbrook and Regina Mundi elementary schools on the Mountain, along with St.

Francis Xavier in Stoney Creek and six other schools across the lower city.

Const. Kerkhof said the emphasis will be on Elmer’s seven

traffic safety rules:

. All ways look before you cross the street

. Keep away from parked cars

. Ride your bike safely - obey signs and signals

. Play in a safe place away from the street

. Walk when you cross the street

. Where there is no sidewalk, walk on the left, facing

traffic

. Always wear your seatbelt in the car

 

Ted Postma, principal at Calvin Christian, was pleased to

see Elmer’s return.

“Safety is important for our students and for our parents as

well,” Mr. Postma said. “We want our children to be aware and alert.”

For millions of Canadian children, first in Ontario then

across the country, Elmer the Safety Elephant was the synonymous with being

safe around automobiles.

The cartoon character dates back to 1947 when a group of

parents and teachers in Toronto were determined to do something about a growing

number of children being struck by automobiles.

The program was made public through the old Toronto Telegram

newspaper and helped reduce the accident toll among children by 44 percent in

its first year, while the number of cars on city streets was growing.

It wasn’t long before the program was adopted by the Ontario

Safety League and Elmer and his in-class safety messages were passed around the

province.

The program went national in 1961 when the Canadian Highway

Safety Council took over the program and kept it going after the Telegram

ceased publication in 1971.

For decades the Elmer flag was a source of pride at schools

where it flew to show the students were practicing the safety rules. At some

schools the flag was lowered if a student disobeyed one of the rules and as a

result, was struck by a vehicle.

Due to a lack of funding, the program was phased out in the

mid 90s.

In Hamilton, the elephant was replaced by the popular

Kidestrians program which was also eventually phased out due to funding issues.

Gone but not forgotten, Elmer got a make-over and featuring

a more youthful look was brought back in Nov. 2001 at schools and safety

villages across the country.

Safety elephant program returns to Hamilton schools

News Oct 22, 2009 Ancaster News

When a group of students and teachers at Calvin Christian

School gathered around Hamilton police constable David Kerkhof at the school’s

flagpole on Monday they marked a bit of history.

For the first time in more than a decade, Elmer the Safety

Elephant returned to the city complete with a new look and the banner raising

at the school on West 5th was the first stop of the traffic safety program

that is being re-introduced at 10 schools in the city.

“The reason we’re relaunching here is I learned about Elmer

at this school when I was in grade school as a little boy,” said Const.

Kerkhof, who is overseeing the return of the program at Calvin Christian,

Holbrook and Regina Mundi elementary schools on the Mountain, along with St.

Francis Xavier in Stoney Creek and six other schools across the lower city.

Const. Kerkhof said the emphasis will be on Elmer’s seven

traffic safety rules:

. All ways look before you cross the street

. Keep away from parked cars

. Ride your bike safely - obey signs and signals

. Play in a safe place away from the street

. Walk when you cross the street

. Where there is no sidewalk, walk on the left, facing

traffic

. Always wear your seatbelt in the car

 

Ted Postma, principal at Calvin Christian, was pleased to

see Elmer’s return.

“Safety is important for our students and for our parents as

well,” Mr. Postma said. “We want our children to be aware and alert.”

For millions of Canadian children, first in Ontario then

across the country, Elmer the Safety Elephant was the synonymous with being

safe around automobiles.

The cartoon character dates back to 1947 when a group of

parents and teachers in Toronto were determined to do something about a growing

number of children being struck by automobiles.

The program was made public through the old Toronto Telegram

newspaper and helped reduce the accident toll among children by 44 percent in

its first year, while the number of cars on city streets was growing.

It wasn’t long before the program was adopted by the Ontario

Safety League and Elmer and his in-class safety messages were passed around the

province.

The program went national in 1961 when the Canadian Highway

Safety Council took over the program and kept it going after the Telegram

ceased publication in 1971.

For decades the Elmer flag was a source of pride at schools

where it flew to show the students were practicing the safety rules. At some

schools the flag was lowered if a student disobeyed one of the rules and as a

result, was struck by a vehicle.

Due to a lack of funding, the program was phased out in the

mid 90s.

In Hamilton, the elephant was replaced by the popular

Kidestrians program which was also eventually phased out due to funding issues.

Gone but not forgotten, Elmer got a make-over and featuring

a more youthful look was brought back in Nov. 2001 at schools and safety

villages across the country.