CRESTVIEW — For $3 per child, local businesses or individuals can help the Crestview Police Department’s Community Services division put safety materials in the hands of area children.

"These are materials we get from the National Child Safety Council," Community Services Officer Sam Kimmons said. "There are booklets and things that cover a wide range of safety issues we try to address, like school bus safety, anti-drug messages and anti-bullying."

Since 1955, when it was known as the Police Safety Service, the National Child Safety Council has provided low-cost, carefully researched and designed printed materials such as booklets, coloring books, stickers, games and activity sheets to kids from elementary school through the early teens.

The council’s Safetypup child safety mascot has made appearances at Crestview schools, where he encourages kids to lead safer lives and watch out for threats such as strangers, peer pressure and unsafe situations at school and on the school bus.

The police department’s annual Child Safety, Bullying and Drug Education program is a dedicated effort to help keep local kids safe and drug-free. Through classroom visits and distribution of National Child Safety Council materials, officers work to counter negative messages that bombard kids.

"A great deal of materials are utilized each year educating children and adults," Kimmons said. "We need the help of the business community and individuals to get these materials into our kids’ hands."

Kimmons said donations, which are payable directly to the National Child Safety Council, are tax-deductible and can be made in any amount, bearing the $3 per child cost in mind.

Thus, $30 can provide materials for 10 kids; $75 can support 25 kids; $150 can help 50 kids; and so on.