By Meredith Clark, Youth Services Assistant
Sedona AZ (December 11, 2015) – One of the central missions of the Sedona Public Library is offering educational and affordable services to the community. Over the schools’ holiday break at the end of December, the youth services department will be offering a two-day certification course for babysitting. Safe Sitter is a national certification program that teaches young tweens and teens what they need to know to be safe when they’re home alone, watching younger siblings, or babysitting. Students learn life-saving skills such as how to rescue someone who’s choking, and helpful information like what to do if there’s severe weather. The lessons are filled with fun activities and role-playing exercises. Students even get to use a CPR mannequin to practice CPR and choking rescue.
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that more than 30% of kids in middle school are home alone after school, and many of them are responsible for supervising younger brothers and sisters until their parents arrive home after work. A Safe Sitter class at the library can give your students the skills they need to be safe, and give parents peace of mind, because Safe Sitter prepares students ages 11 through 14 to be safe when home alone, be responsible for watching younger siblings, or be ready to babysit.
The course is two days, back to back. It will be on Tuesday, December 29 and Wednesday, December 30. Students must be available for the entire course to qualify for certification. The class is geared towards a specific age group, so participants must be at least 11 years old on the day of the first class and no older than 14. Safe Sitter is a national certification program that can cost upwards of $30 per student, but with the help of the Friends of the Library, we are able to offer it to our community at no cost.
One of the things that impressed me most about this program is how seriously they treat the certification process. In preparation for this course, I had to become CPR certified and complete an extensive training course to be qualified to teach. Funding for my training was provided by the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation. The materials for teaching the program are well-considered for the ages being taught and the program is tightly designed in order to get all of the material included in the lessons. It even includes a graduation ceremony where the parents join us at the end of the second day to find out what the children have learned.
If you are interested in signing up your tween for the Safe Sitter certification course, call the Library at 928-282-7714, ext. 119. The class is designed for a maximum of eight kids and spots fill up fast! If the course is already full, we will keep a waiting list on hand. We will also be offering the course again in 2016, so if you are interested give us a call and we will let you know when we will be offering the course next year.
Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The land on which our beautiful library sits was donated, and the library building was constructed with private funds and is entirely debt-free. Donations and grants allow us to continue to offer free and innovative services to residents and visitors. Your tax-deductible donation may be sent to: Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336.