Anyone! We do not have restrictions as to where you live. We have had students from over 49 different suburbs and 10 different states. The only restriction is that the students must be 5 years of age and attending kindergarten in the fall. The 8 to 10 year old group must be that….8 through 10 years of age. We also have had students with disabilities and our building is handicapped accessible.
Tuition is $80 for the 5-7 classes and $95 for 8-10 classes.
Materials used in the older program are more costly so we keep the tuition same for both classes. We do not receive funding from any organization. We have to do all fundraising on our own. The tuition does not cover our costs, but we keep going as best as we can, which is difficult. But our goal gives us the strength.
We offer snacks for both age groups. If a student has dietary restrictions we will abide by the parents wishes.
We offer many different classes for many different groups. These include field trips for scout troops, school assemblies, speaking engagements on safety, and going to parent groups. Just contact Safety Village and we will be happy to work out something for your group. We are willing to work with anyone.
They are friends and neighbors who have supported us since day one. We have two elementary teachers, firefighters, Battalion Chief, paramedics, police officers, the canine unit and more. These volunteers also serve on our Board of Directors, as well as a Superintendent of a local school district etc.
Cindie Hagen (Director)
Cindie is the President/Program Director of Safety Village and co-founder of the program. Cindie has lived in Darien since 1974. She is very active in the community. She is a member and past President of the Darien Woman’s Club and has belonged to the club since 1988. She is a member of the Darien Chamber of Commerce and has been active in Darienfest since it began in 1988.
Cindie and a few members of the Darien Woman's Club started Darien Unites which was a group of residents that came together after 9/11. Their goal was to educate as many people as possible about preparedness in the event of a community emergency such as tornado, fire, earthquake, setting up a shelter etc. That group is now become a part of Safety Village. All the members have been fully trained in all areas of preparedness.
Cindie grew up in Oak Park and lived there until 2 years after she and Dave married. They then moved to LaGrange to be close to Dave’s work as a teacher at Lyons Township High School. When they were expecting their daughter they decided to buy a house in some town they never heard of…Darien. Before Cindie married her husband Dave she worked for Chas. A. Stevens a retail business in Chicago. She continued to work there as Training Director until the birth of her daughter Kelly after which she retired to be a stay at home mom. The Hagen’s have two granddaughters.
When Safety Village began the teachers took many classes with the Red Cross to learn all about child safety. They went to seminars, workshops and conventions that had anything to do with the many subjects they now teach. We are proud to say that every subject taught has been reviewed for accuracy.
Donna has been with us since 1992. She is a resident of Darien, grew up in Clarendon Hills and attended Western Illinois University. Donna and her husband Rick are the parents of 4 grown children, two daughters and two sons. They have one granddaughter. Donna has been in education since 1976. She teaches at Mark Delay Elementary School in Darien.
Donna is a wonderful resource of teaching methods and she shares them with the other teachers. Her creativity is wonderful. In fact, Donna is a great seamstress: The teachers at Safety Village like to wear clothes with safety themes on them and Donna sews them. Her talent has no end! Donna is a member of our Board of Directors.
Jeannette and her husband Ronn moved to Darien in the late 80’s. Jeannette was an “at home” mom and had three children, two boys and one girl. Jenn is the grandmother of six and great grandmother of one. Her two sons are in law enforcement. Her oldest son, Ron Jr. is Chief of Police in southern Illinois and her daughter Lorinda is a teacher of Behavior Management for the Deaf at Hinsdale South High School. Her youngest son Michael is a Sergeant with the Darien Police Department.
Jenn has been with Safety Village since 1990 and is on the Board of Directors and a teacher at Safety Village. The teachers at Safety Village always say that Jenn is small but mighty!
Beth Orr was a student in the first class that Safety Village ever offered. She enjoyed the program so much that she repeated the class several times. After taking every class that Safety Village offered, Beth became a teen volunteer up until she entered college. At this point she became one of Safety Village's teachers and is currently the secretary on the board of directors.
She also runs the Safety Village birthday parties and heads up the SVD Teen Drone Corp. She received a degree in Eartly Childhood Education from Elmhurst College. Beth and her mother own a child care center, Ready, Set, Grow
in Darien. She is also the lead preschool teacher. When Beth isn't with the children at her child care center or at Safety Village, she is spending time with her husband, daughter, and twin boys.
John is a Battalion Chief with Darien Woodridge Fire Protection. John joined Safety Village in 1990. He has a gift with children. He teaches a great deal of important information to the children and they listen to his every word. Fire education is an important subject and a dangerous one. He is able to interact with the students, they also get to play act which enables the children to learn all about fire safety.
John is married and has one son. John has allowed us to accomplish great strides in our fire education program. There is one word to describe him and his love for what he does and that is “passionate”. He wants every child to know what to do if they should ever be faced with this type of emergency.
We have police officers from the Darien Police Department. We have Officer Nick Skweres (Darien’s Dare Officer) who spends an entire class with the students explaining how to be safe at home, outside the home, in automobiles, at the playground or at school. He also discusses internet precautions no matter what age student he is working with at the time. Officer Skweres reinforces our stranger danger, abduction and other types of safety. He does it in such a way that it does not scare the child. This is very important for the age students we have during our five day program. He spends a great deal of time explaining his duties as an officer and also shows the students his police car and all the equipment he carries. He also explains all the equipment on his uniform.
Nick is married and has two sons. His wife is a teacher in the area. We have known Nick for some time. He was once one of our “teen volunteers”. Nick also brings in the canine officer and that teaches the students exactly what a police dog does to help people, an important lesson for all of our students.
We utilize volunteers from the teen community to help with our younger students. The teens are recruited each April or May and sign up for classes that work into their summer schedule. The teens must be going into 8th grade. Teen volunteers go through a training class to teach them their responsibilities and how to do things with their students. They reinforce all the subjects taught and look after their assigned children inside and outside on our site. The teens are assigned 4 to 5 children and are with them the entire five days. A wonderful friendship develops between them. A great many of our teens are former students of our program as well as one of our teachers.