Students learn the importance of safety through magic and laught - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Students learn the importance of safety through magic and laughter

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BECKLEY (WVVA) -- What do police officers and magic tricks have in common?  Kids across Raleigh County are learning the answer -- The Officer Phil Program.

Mr. Mike and Lucky Ducky have been making their way around schools in Raleigh County this week with an officer from the Beckley Police Department.

Thursday they were at Saint Francis School in Beckley.

The program uses magic and puppet to talk about the importance of safety.  That includes everything from walking on the sidewalk to stranger danger, even Internet safety.

"When their are laughing, and they're having fun, and there are visual things going on, they pay attention," says Mike Eakens, coordinator of the Officer Phil program.

"I think it's a really good program," says Officer Neal Smith, Beckley Police Department.  "It helps children understand at a very young age that you need to be safe when you're online, when you're in school, when you're out in the general public.  It also teaches children that police offers are here for them.  We're not big, bad police."

There was also an emphasis on making sure kids feel safe in school, despite what they might hear from adults or see on TV.

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