Teaching Kids Street Smarts


Everyone knows that you must look both ways before crossing the street. Then why is it that the leading cause of death and injury in the country, as well as Los Angeles, is childhood pedestrian car crashes? Perhaps children are not as well educated on pedestrian safety as they should be. That is a problem L.A. Street Smarts set out to solve.

L.A. Street Smarts: Richie’s Neighborhood is a program sponsored by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. It teaches pedestrian safety to children in elementary schools through fun, hands-on interaction.

The program was created in memory of Richie Alarcon, the 3-year old son of the California state senator. L.A. Street Smarts has been recognized by the Los Angeles City Council for its work in reducing pedestrian injury.

On Nov. 5, La Crescenta Elementary School hosted the organization in a school-wide assembly. L.A. Street Smarts set up a replica of a small neighborhood in which children practiced safety rules such as how to safely cross intersections. The replica was complete with flashing traffic lights and miniature cars that helped maximize the practice students can have with pedestrian injury prevention. The elementary school students had fun interacting with the “neighborhood” as they further exercised their new knowledge.

L.A. Street Smarts works to reiterate the common sense parents instill in their children. La Crescenta Elementary School is a pioneer in the community to work with L.A. Street Smarts in an attempt to further provide this knowledge for La Crescenta’s youth. The information the students are taught and practiced will be carried with them and will reduce the chance of pedestrian versus automobile accidents in the Crescenta Valley community  and beyond.