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By Frank Murphy, Gloucester City Postmaster
Franklin, the eagle, and his sidekick bird friend, Benny, spent their summer making public service announcements on television stations across the country, warning children to stay away from Postal Service delivery vehicles.
The two animated characters are now ready to head back to school with postal employees to help teachers spread the word that injuries and death can result when children get too close to delivery vehicles.
Materials targeting pre-kindergarten through second-grade school children are being distributed nationwide this month to more than 9,000 postal facilities as part of a child safety awareness program from the Postal Service and two of its unions, the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Rural Letter Carrier's Association.
The materials include an animated two-minute DVD video — available in English or Spanish — featuring Franklin and Benny. The theme "Smart children stay away from the truck" is reinforced in numerous ways throughout this fast-paced, humorous video.
A poster, coloring book images and stickers are also available to leave with the school children to further reinforce the message.
The dangers involving children playing near vehicles is a nationwide problem involving all types of vehicles. The Kids and Cars organization has resources available on their website at www.KidsAndCars.org to help prevent these types of accidents.
Teachers or other school officials interested in having a Postal Service employee visit a school to present the video and other materials can contact their local postmaster.