Students at St. Joseph's Regional Academy in Jim Thorpe learned about the importance of being safe.

During the Deputy Phil program on Monday afternoon, kindergarten through fourth grade students were treated to a puppet and magic show that taught them about bike, traffic, and bus safety; as well as not talking to strangers. The event was sponsored by the Carbon County Sheriff's Department and local businesses and organizations.

Lt. Dave Midas, one of the hosts and also a Jim Thorpe School District D.A.R.E. instructor, explained before the event, that the program's goal is to educate children about being safe and being aware of their surroundings.

He said the program, which has taken place in the Jim Thorpe Area School District for five years, has been a success because the students are excited to learn while being entertained.

As the event began, Carbon County Sheriff Dwight Nothstein welcomed the students and acknowledged the local businesses for their continued support of the program. He then turned over the spotlight to "Magic Dave" Carr, who performed magic tricks, hosted the "Treasures of the Seven Seas" game, and introduced Joanne the mind reading duck and Icy the Penguin puppet.

During the half-hour program, Carr educated students about wearing a helmet, knowing the rules of the road, and being safe in the community.

He used magic tricks to illustrate the safety points; as well as enlisted the help of his puppets and the students to share his message.

Carr also made sure the students knew that safety VIPs (Very Important Persons) include their teachers, parents, law enforcement officers and friends.

Following Carr's magic show, he and Icy the Penguin played "Treasures of the Seven Seas" with the students. The game asks the children to show courage, commitment, confidence, communication skills, and more. Each child proved they know just what to do in unsafe situations.

The program ended with the Sheriff's Department distributing activity booklets to each class.

Students at L.B. Morris Elementary and Penn-Kidder Elementary will also be treated to the Deputy Phil program later this month.

The Deputy Phil program's goal is to educate children about safety, crime prevention, values and responsibility in a way they will understand and remember. It has been in operation for over 30 years and is currently taking place in 17 states. The program is also known as the Officer Phil and Firefighter Phil program, depending on the topic and who is sponsoring the event.

For more information on the program, visit www.officerphil.com.