A group of Spaulding School second grade students were pretty fired up about seeing new books in their library Wednesday morning.
Gurnee fire, village and school officials unveiled a display of fire safety books that were purchased through a fire prevention grant. On May 6, fire officials told the village board they received funding through the Department of Homeland Security to provide fire safety reading resources for local libraries and organizations.
"The children will have many resources at their disposal to learn about fire safety, historic fires and careers in the fire service," said Katie Sellnow, the Gurnee Fire Department's fire inspector and public education coordinator. "The resources include books, e-books and DVDs in multiple languages. The children, as well as the educators, have a whole new area of their libraries to utilize."
Shelves are being stocked at Warren-Newport Public Library and libraries within Woodland Elementary District 50 and Gurnee Elementary District 56. The Zacharis Center and Lake County Children's Advocacy also received donations. Other money was spent on fire hydrant-shaped book shelves and fire safety-themed bookmarks. A total of $66,000 was spent on the materials, including $6,600 provided by the village.
"The fire department benefits by giving all the children within our fire district access to fire education materials," Sellnow said.
Fire officials are in the schools teaching fire safety from pre-K through fourth grade during October. The goal in providing the books was for children and educators to have an area within their libraries to expand on that education.
"We can't be there all the time teaching them about fire safety or what to do in an emergency, but now they will have access to that knowledge at all times," she added.
Gurnee Fire Chief Fred N. Friedl, Deputy Fire Chief John Kavanagh, Mayor Kristina Kovarik and District 56 Superintendent John Hutton looked over the books with the students. The officials also visited Woodland Intermediate School on Wednesday.